Another North Division Road Win
Less than 24 hours after traveling to Hamilton and defeating a Bulldogs team that was ahead of them in the North Division standings on Friday night, the Lake Erie Monsters went on to Toronto on Saturday afternoon and did the very same thing. Down two goals midway through the second period, the Monsters battled back for a 3-2 win over the Marlies.
Entering Saturday's game, Toronto was in second place in the North with 77 points, followed by Hamilton (75) and Lake Erie (74). By defeating the Marlies, the Monsters momentarily took over third place with 76 points, moving ahead of Hamilton. The Bulldogs, however, were playing Texas simultaneously, and with an ensuing Hamilton win, moved into a tie with Toronto for second place (77 points), pushing the Monsters right back to fourth. Manitoba remains atop the North with 78 points.
Lake Erie and Toronto kept pace with each other through the first period, as neither team scored, and the Marlies had just one more shot on goal than the Monsters, 10-9.
The host Marlies quickly got on the board to start the second period, as Mike Zigomanis scored just 2:01 into the frame. Nazem Kadri and Jeff Cowan assisted, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Kadri lit the lamp for himself only four minutes later, increasing the Marlies advantage to 2-0 with his goal at 6:35. Juraj Mikus was credited with the assist.
Shawn Belle answered for Lake Erie, notching his first goal as a Monster in just his fourth game with the team, at 11:25 of the second. Julian Talbot and Patrick Bordeleau assisted.
Greg Mauldin then converted a shorthanded tally at 15:45, assisted by Ben Walter, tying the game at 2-2.
The second period ended with the score 2-2 and the Marlies leading in shots, 21-16.
With the score still deadlocked midway through the third period, Talbot finally put the Monsters ahead with his goal at 12:40. Luke Walker and Cameron Gaunce assisted. Talbot has now recorded goals in back-to-back games for the third time this season and with his assist on Belle's goal, posted his eighth multi-point game of the season.
Despite Toronto outshooting Lake Erie 10-6 in the final frame, the Monsters held on for the 3-2 win.
Jason Bacashihua stopped 29 of 31 shots in net for the Lake Erie victory. Ben Scrivens posted 19 saves on 22 shots for the Marlies.
The Monsters will now be idle until Friday, March 18th, when they travel to Grand Rapids for another North Division matchup.