Third Straight Shootout Another Winner

For the second night in a row, the Lake Erie Monsters (29-25-2-3) earned a shootout victory, with the latest triumph being a 3-2 win over the Midwest Division-leading Charlotte Checkers (31-19-2-5) before a crowd of 10,916 at Quicken Loans Arena. David van der Gulik and Luke Walker scored for the Monsters, and Gerald Coleman is tied for the team lead after turning away all four Charlotte shootout attempts to secure his 10th victory in net. Saturday was the third straight game that went to a shootout for Lake Erie, dating back to February 25th and a 4-3 loss in a 15-round shootout in Rochester.

Bobby Sanguinetti struck first for Charlotte when he fired a wrist shot top-shelf on Coleman at the 1:27 mark of the opening period, but the Monsters were quick to respond.

van der Gulik scored his first Monsters goal since returning from a 25-game stint with the Colorado Avalanche three games ago to tie the game at 1-1. Mike Brennan spotted van der Gulik at the far post, and the defenseman fired a pass to the back-door, allowing van der Gulik to one-time the puck over the goal line. Evan Brophey also assisted on van der Gulik’s seventh goal of the season at 7:39 of the first period.

After a scoreless second period, Walker scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle to give the Monsters their first advantage of the night- a 2-1 lead- at the 8:25 mark of the third period. Justin Mercier assisted on Walker’s ninth goal of the season.

With 1:37 left in the third period, Nicolas Blanchard found a loose puck at the side of the Monsters net, cut to the front of the goal, and fired in a backhand to beat Coleman and tie the game at 2-2.

Overtime didn’t yield a winner, and the Monsters ventured to a shootout for the third straight game. Mike Connolly scored in round one, and Patrick Rissmiller scored in round three, while Coleman stopped all four Charlotte attempts to clinch the victory.

Coleman stopped 20 of 22 shots and all four shootout attempts to improve to 10-4-2. Mike Murphy stopped 18 of 20 in the Charlotte net, and one of three in the shootout; he is 15-11-2.

The Monsters and Checkers will conclude the four-game season series Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM at Quicken Loans Arena. The game can be seen live on FOX Sports Ohio and heard on AM 1220 WHKW.

NOTES: The Monsters are 9-3-0-2 since the all-star break… The Monsters are 7-1-0-1 when Luke Walker scores a goal… Lake Erie improves to 17-7-2-3 in one-goal games… The Monsters were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill on Saturday, snapping a streak of five straight games in which they allowed a power play goal… The Monsters have failed to score on the power play in four straight games after going 0-for-4 on the man-advantage Saturday… The Monsters improve to 2-3-0-0 in the second games of three-in-three stretches… The Monsters are 2-1-0-0 against Charlotte this season.

Doug Plagens' call of the game:

Photos from Saturday's win:

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