Monsters Fall Short in Shootout
Photo by Lake Erie Monsters Frank Jansky
After a nine-round shootout, the Lake Erie Monsters (23-16-2-2) saw their four-game win streak come to a halt in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs (14-21-1-5) before a crowd of 14,142 at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night. The crowd was the largest of the season so far for the Monsters. With a shootout loss, the Monsters do gain one point in the standings. Bill Thomas scored the Monsters lone goal of the game, vaulting him into a tie with Mike Sgarbossa for the Monsters team lead in goals with 16.
After nearly two full scoreless periods, Hamilton All-Star Gabriel Dumont capitalized on a Monsters defensive zone turnover and scored Hamilton’s lone goal in regulation- shorthanded- at 17:10 of the second period.
Monsters rookie goalie Sami Aittokallio stopped all but one of the 27 shots he faced through two periods, as the Bulldogs outshot the Monsters 27-10 in the first 40 minutes of play.
Thomas scored on the power play at the 6:47 mark of the third period when he took a Sgarbossa pass and sent the puck top-shelf from the bottom of the left circle to tie the game at 1-1. Karl Stollery also assisted on the goal. Lake Erie outshot Hamilton 12-5 in the final frame of regulation.
A scoreless 5-minute sudden death overtime led to a shootout. Sgarbossa scored on the Monsters first shootout attempt, followed by Michael Beaulieu converting on the Bulldogs fourth attempt. Tied 1-1, the five-round shootout was forced to go to sudden death; it ended in the ninth round with Stefan Chaput scoring for Hamilton.
Aittokallio stopped 33 of 34 shots in 65 minutes; he is 11-8-1. Former Monsters goalie Cedrick Desjardins stopped 22 of 23 shots in 65 minutes and is 6-11-2 for the Bulldogs.
The Monsters have reached the All-Star break, and will be back in action next week with a back-to-back at home against Abbotsford on Thursday and Friday.
NOTES: The Monsters are now 3-1-0-1 against Hamilton this season, and 10-2-0-1 against the Bulldogs since the start of last season… The Monsters are 9-7-1-1 at home this season… Thomas’ goal gives him a five-game point streak; the Monsters are 14-4-0-0 when Thomas gets a point… The Monsters were 1-7 on the power play, and now have at least one power play goal in five straight games… The Monsters penalty kill unit was 6-6 in the game… With an assist Sgarbossa has three goals and five assists for eight points over his last four games….Sgarbossa and fellow rookie Andrew Agozzino will represent Lake Erie at the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday and Monday; Agozzino was named a starter for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game on Monday after online fan voting.