Monsters Win Again In OT 4-3 Over Toronto
Colin Smith's goal at 5:04 of overtime sealed a 4-3 victory for the Lake Erie Monsters (21-16-4-3) Friday over the Toronto Marlies (18-18-9-0) before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 9,272. The game marked the fifth straight game and sixth in the last seven that the Monsters played past regulation time. Ben Street, Mitchell Heard, and Andrew Agozzino scored in regulation time for the Monsters, who have won three straight games and have just one regulation loss over their last 10 games. The Monsters will take a seven-game point streak into Saturday's game at The Q against Hamilton at 7:00 p.m.
Following a Kenny Ryan rebound opportunity, Street sent a puck toward the front of the net that bounced off the back of Toronto goalie Antoine Bibeau and into the net at 13:37 of the first period. The goal gave Street a tally in three straight games, and was his fourth of the season, assisted by Ryan and Agozzino.
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Toronto turned the tables on the Monsters in the second period, scoring twice and taking a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. The first Toronto goal came after Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard made a save on Byron Froese and a loose puck that followed the save was tapped in by Troy Bodie at the 8:38 mark of the second period. At the 11:53 mark, Matt Frattin played a puck to the front of the net from the right circle that deflected off a Monsters defender and past Pickard to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Viktor Loov extended Toronto's lead to 3-1 at 4:19 of the third period when he took a Brandon Kozun feed in the slot and wristed a shot past Pickard, but that marked the last of Toronto's scoring. With the Monsters on a power play, Heard ignited the comeback by deflecting a Markus Lauridsen point shot by Bibeau at 14:33 of the third period. Bruno Gervais also assisted on the goal, which cut Toronto's lead to 3-2.
With Pickard pulled from the net and the extra attacker on the ice, Heard rushed the puck through the right circle and threaded a backhand pass to Agozzino, who sent a shot over the shoulder of Bibeau to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:04 left in regulation. Ryan also assisted on the goal.
At 5:04 of overtime, Smith cut up the left side of the ice, through the circle, and made a move that forced Bibeau to drop to the ice. Smith patiently pulled the puck around Bibeau, and slipped it over the goal line to secure the two points for the Monsters.
Pickard won for the third time in his last four starts, improving to 11-6-4 after stopping 25 of 28 shots. Bibeau turned away 34 of 38 Monsters shots, and his record moves to 8-7-5 with the overtime loss.
The Monsters host Hamilton Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Saturday's game can be heard live on ESPN 850 WKNR and seen live on MY 43 WUAB.
NOTES: The Monsters are 7-4 in games decided in overtime... Over the Monsters last seven games, they have played past regulation time six times, winning three times in overtime, winning once in a shootout, and losing twice in overtime... The Monsters are 2-0-0-0 against Toronto this season, and are now 11-7-0-2 at home... The Monsters are 7-1-2-0 over their last 10 games... Agozzino (Goal, assist), Ryan (Two assists), Gervais (Two assists), and Heard (Goal, assist) each had two-point games for the Monsters on Friday... Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.