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From Shutout Loss to Near Shutout WinTweet
After a 3-0 shutout loss in Houston the night before, the Lake Erie Monsters responded Saturday night by nearly recording a 3-0 shutout win of their own at Texas. Lake Erie goaltender John Grahame and the Monsters were within three minutes of the shutout before giving up the lone Stars goal, resulting in the 3-1 Monsters win. After being outshot in Houston by a 41-25 count on Friday, the Monsters bounced back Saturday to outshoot the Stars 29-19. Ryan Stoa led the Lake Erie offense with points on all three goals on the night (1G, 2A).
The Monsters are now 16-17-3-4 and move into a tie for fifth place in the North Division.
There was not much action in the first, as the two teams kept pace with each other, Lake Erie recording nine shots, Texas posting seven. The first 20 minutes passed with no score.
That would change just 3:50 into the second period when Ben Walter gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead. He was assisted by Stoa and Dave Phillips, who recorded his first point with Lake Erie in just his second game with the team.
Lake Erie would dominate Texas offensively in the middle frame, putting up 10 shots on goal compared to only four from the Stars. Walter's goal would be the only score in the first 40 minutes.
The Monsters outshot the Stars by two in the third period, 10-8, and were able to light the lamp again less than halfway through the frame.
Patrick Rissmiller recorded his team-leading 11th power play point (4G, 7A) of the season when he scored at 8:18 on the man advantage. He has now put up points in all but one of the past seven games (2G, 6A). David van der Gulik and Stoa both assisted.
Less than four minutes later, Stoa scored his team-high 13th goal at 12:07 of the third, giving the Monsters a 3-0 lead. Walter was credited with the lone assist. Stoa has recorded points in five of the last seven games (4G, 2A). With three points on the night, Stoa posted his first three-point game, his sixth multi-point game and third two-assist game this season. With a goal and assist, Walter had his fifth multi-point effort of the campaign.
Grahame and the Monsters kept their shutout hopes alive until the 17:20 mark of the third when Aaron Gagnon finally put the Stars on the board. Francis Wathier and Tomas Vincour assisted, resulting in the final 3-1 Lake Erie win.
Grahame finished the night with 18 saves on 19 shots. Texas netminder Richard Bachman had 26 stops on 29 shots.
The Monsters will finish their three-in-three weekend in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
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