Monsters Come Up Short in Closeout Game

With a 3-1 series lead and a chance to eliminate Manitoba from the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday night, the Lake Erie Monsters were handed a 2-0 loss by the Moose in Game 5 of the North Division Semi-Finals at the MTS Centre. The score was much closer than the two-goal deficit, as the game was scoreless until midway through the third period before the Moose scored. They added an emptynetter in the closing seconds of the game to seal the win. The series will now move back to Cleveland, as Game 6 will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.

While Friday’s game was physical like the first four, fewer penalties were called. Each team only had two power play opportunities. The Monsters shut down both of Manitoba’s man advantages, continuing Lake Erie’s perfect penalty kill against the Moose (21-21 in Playoffs).

After a scoreless first period, the Moose carried an 18-6 advantage in shots.

While neither team managed to snap the scoreless tie in the middle frame, the Monsters regained some ground in shots, posting eight compared to five by the Moose.

In the third period, Manitoba got on the board by converting on their first shot of the stanza. At the 6:35 mark, Sergei Shirokov scored off assists from Jason Jaffray and Marco Rosa.

With Lake Erie goaltender Jason Bacashihua pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Jaffray finalized a 2-0 score sheet by scoring an empty-net tally with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Mark Flood and Rosa assisted.

Bacashihua, who had not started since Lake Erie’s 6-4 victory in Game 1, posted 29 saves on 30 shots.

Rookie netminder Eddie Lack, who entered Game 4 in relief of former Monster Tyler Weiman on Thursday, went 26-for-26 to backstop Manitoba’s shutout.

Three Stars: 1. MTB Lack (26 saves); 2. LE Bacashihua (29 saves); 3. MTB Shirokov (GW goal)


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