Monsters Lose Lead Late, Fall in Shootout to Wolves

Scoresheet

A late comeback by the home team in Chicago led to the Lake Erie Monsters absorbing a 6-5 shootout loss to the Wolves (38-19-5-3) Wednesday night at Allstate Arena.  David van der Gulik scored twice for the Monsters, while Stefan Elliott, Michael Schumacher, and Guillaume Desbiens also added goals.  The game marked the first of a season-long seven-game road swing for the Monsters, who end the night with 64 points, seven back of the Rockford IceHogs and Charlotte Checkers, who currently hold the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Western Conference.  The Monsters are back in action at 8:00 PM Eastern Friday in Milwaukee.
 
Sergey Andronov opened the scoring for Chicago just 61 seconds into the game,  but David van der Gulik scored two goals- 21 seconds apart- to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead at 2:56 and 3:17 of the first period.  van der Gulik’s first goal was a wrist shot from the right circle, assisted by Mark Olver and Andrew Agozzino.  His second tally came from the high slot off a turnover, as he sent a shot off Chicago goalie Jake Allen and into the net.  van der Gulik’s two goals gave him 10 on the season, and vaulted him into a tie with Ryan Stoa for the all-time Monsters lead with 55.  Stefan Elliott banged in his own rebound to give the Monsters a 3-1 lead, and his 13th goal of the season, at 9:34 of the first period.  Duncan Siemens assisted on Elliott’s fourth goal over his last six games.
 
Chicago scored twice to tie the game at 3-3 in the second period.  Joel Edmundson scored on a slap shot at 5:44 of the second period, and Doug Janik scored on a shot from the Monsters blue line at 9:01 for the Wolves.  However, the Wolves comeback attempt was answered with 10.2 seconds left in the second period when Allen left his net to play a puck, and turned it over to the Monsters Michael Schumacher in front of the Chicago net, and Schumacher wasted no time netting his eighth goal of the season.
 
With the Monsters leading 4-3 into the late stages of the third period, Guillaume Desbiens added an insurance marker by corralling a bouncing puck in front of the Chicago net and firing it home to extend the Monsters lead to 5-3 at 14:16 of the third period.  Desbiens’ goal was his seventh of the season, assisted by Brett Clark
 
Chicago would tie the game late when Keith Aucoin scored on a deflection at 16:56 of the third period, and Mike Davies scored from the top of the goal crease to pull the Wolves into a 5-5 tie at 18:02 of the third period.
 
Overtime did not yield a winner, but Chicago converted on two-of-four shootout attempts while the Monsters were blanked in four frames in the shootout.  Ty Rattie and Adam Cracknell scored for the Wolves in the shootout, securing a 6-5 victory for Chicago.
 
Sami Aittokallio is 12-11-3 in net for the Monsters; he stopped 27 of 32 shots and two of four shootout attempts.  Jake Allen stopped 30 of 35 shots, and all four Monsters shootout attempts for Chicago; he leads the AHL with 29 goaltending wins, and is 29-15-2 overall.
 
The Monsters are back in action against Milwaukee Friday at 8:00 PM Eastern; a game that airs live on AM 1220 WHKW.
 
NOTES: Olver’s assist gives him a Monsters season-best five-game assist streak; he has a goal and six assists over his last five games… Desbiens has goals in back-to-back games… The Monsters are 1-0-1-1 against Chicago this season, and 5-15-1-2 all-time against the Wolves… The Monsters are 6-8-0-2 against the Midwest Division this season… the Monsters are 5-3-0-2 in the month of March… The Monsters are 10-16-0-5 on the road this season… The Monsters shootout record this season is 6-8… The Monsters were 0-6 on the power play, while Chicago was 0-5… The Monsters penalty kill is 15-15 over the last three games.

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