Grahame Leads LEM to 8th Straight Win
The Lake Erie Monsters continued their record-breaking win streak in Toronto on Saturday behind the stellar goaltending of John Grahame, who stopped 37 of 39 shots through regulation and overtime, followed by denying four of five Marlies in the shootout. Despite being outshot 39-18 through 65 minutes, the Monsters overcame an early deficit to defeat Toronto 3-2, winning their seventh straight on the road and eighth straight overall.
The Monsters are now 40-25-3-5 and remain in first place in the North Division with 88 points, four points ahead of second-place Manitoba.
Toronto established an early home ice advantage, scoring just 1:12 into the first period. Ryan Hamilton scored unassisted to quickly put the Marlies up 1-0.
Although the Monsters were outshot 12-5 in the opening frame, Joel Chouinard evened the score for Lake Erie with his goal at 17:58. Luke Walker and Julian Talbot assisted, sending the teams to the intermission tied at 1-1.
The Marlies again dominated the puck in the second period, putting up 10 shots compared to just three for the Monsters. Neither team was able to convert however, finishing the second still tied at 1-1.
Lake Erie struck first in the third period, as Greg Mauldin gave the Monsters a 2-1 lead with this goal at 6:57, assisted by Ben Walter and David van der Gulik. The line of Mauldin, Walter and van der Gulik scored all three goals in Friday's 3-2 overtime win in Rochester, as well as accounted for five combined assists.
With the assists on Saturday, Walter (2g, 12a) and van der Gulik (4g, 9a) have each recorded points in eight straight games. And with his goal against Toronto, Mauldin has points in 13 of the last 15 games (11g, 6a).
Toronto tied it back up with Hamilton's second goal of the game, a power play tally at the 10:38 mark of the third period. Alex Foster and Christian Hanson assisted.
The Marlies bettered the Monsters in shots in the final 20 minutes, 16-9, and regulation ended with the score still tied at 2-2.
Each team only recorded one shot in the five-minute sudden death overtime, sending the game to a shootout.
Toronto shot first and was denied, while Mauldin shot first for Lake Erie and converted. The Marlies second shooter, Joe Colborne, got one past Grahame, knotting the shootout at 1-1. Lake Erie's second and third shooters missed, while Toronto's third and fourth did as well.
Walker, Lake Erie's fourth shooter, slipped one past Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens. Grahame stopped Toronto's fifth and final shooter to seal the 3-2 Lake Erie win. Grahame finished the game with 37 saves on 39 shots, as well as four saves on five shootout attempts. Scrivens had 16 saves on 18 shots and two of four in the shootout.
The Monsters will now be idle until Wednesday when they host Rockford.