Monsters Lose 4-3 in Shootout

Two late third period power play goals from team points leader Mike Sgarbossa helped the Lake Erie Monsters (9-7-1-1) earn a point in the standings, while falling in a shootout by a 4-3 score to the Rockford IceHogs (9-8-0-1) before a crowd of 8,237 at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night. Sgarbossa is now tied with Monsters captain Bryan Lerg for the team lead with eight goals, and his two points on the night give him six multi-point games on the season. The shootout loss was the first such loss for the Monsters this season; they were 4-0 in shootouts up until Saturday’s game against Rockford.

Rob Flick found the puck in a scramble in front of the Monsters net and sent the puck high to beat Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard at 5:06 of the first period, giving Rockford a 1-0 lead.

The Monsters countered at 4:31 of the second period when Brad Malone followed the airborne rebound of a Tyson Barrie attempt, and swatted the puck past IceHogs goalie Alec Richards, tying the game at 1-1. The goal was Malone’s fourth of the campaign.

Andrew Shaw found a loose puck behind Pickard and tapped it over the goal line at 7:39 of the second period, vaulting the IceHogs back into the lead, 2-1. Ben Smith extended the Rockford lead to 3-1 at 13:01 of the third period when he cut to the front of the net and sent a low backhand shot under Pickard.

With under five minutes remaining in the third period and the Monsters on the power play, Lerg spotted Sgarbossa at the side of the Rockford net. After connecting on the pass, Sgarbossa made a move, and sent the puck into the top-portion of the Rockford net to bring the Monsters within a goal. Karl Stollery also assisted on the goal at 15:18 of the third period.

With Pickard pulled and the Monsters again on the power play, with just under 48 seconds on the clock, Sgarbossa fired in a perfectly placed pass from Barrie from directly in front of the net to tie the game. Stollery also assisted on the goal. Sgarbossa’s second goal was his eighth of the season, giving him back-to-back multi-point efforts.

After overtime failed to yield a winner, a shootout was necessary, and the IceHogs outscored the Monsters 3-2 in the shootout frame.

Pickard (5-4-1) stopped 34 of 37 shots in the loss for the Monsters. Richards (4-1-0) beat the Monsters for the second straight night, stopping 36 of 39 in net for the IceHogs.

Lake Erie’s three-in-three weekend concludes with a 4:00 PM matchup in Hamilton against the Bulldogs Sunday. All the action can be heard live on Newstalk 1420 WHK.

NOTES: The Monsters are now 0-3-1-1 in their last five games… The Monsters were 2-5 on the power play, and are now 6-27 on the power play over their last seven games… The Monsters were 6-6 on the penalty kill… Tyson Barrie extended his point streak to three games… Bryan Lerg was denied on a shootout attempt for the first time this season; he is 4-5 in shootouts on the season, and entered Saturday as the AHL leader in shootout goals with four… The Monsters mustered 24 shots in the second period, tying a franchise record for shots on goal in a period originally set on 12/13/09 vs. Chicago (3rd Period)… The Monsters previous season-high for shots in a period was 17… The Monsters are 0-2-0-1 against Rockford on the season after going 4-0-0-0 against the IceHogs last season… Saturday was the 10th one-goal game of the season for the Monsters.

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