Late Goal Sinks Monsters in OT

Monsters vs GriffinsPhoto by Lake Erie Monsters / Jodi Jacobson


A three-goal lead disappeared on the way to the Lake Erie Monsters (28-28-3-7) eventually falling in overtime by a 5-4 score to the Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins (37-21-3-3) Saturday night. More than 12,000 fans were on hand at Quicken Loans Arena for the second half of a home-and-home between the two teams. The Monsters defeated the Griffins in a shootout in Grand Rapids the previous night.

Luke Walker, Mike Sgarbossa, Bill Thomas, and David van der Gulik scored for the Monsters, while Karl Stollery chipped in a pair of assists, giving him four assists over his last two games.

Walker picked up a loose puck and slipped it along the ice past an out-of-position Griffins defenseman to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead with his eighth goal of the season. Stollery and van der Gulik assisted at 2:14 of the first period.

Less than a minute later at 3:11, Stollery pushed a puck up the ice, Geoff Walker carried into the offensive zone, and Walker sent a pass to Sgarbossa on the rush that was immediately sent into the Grand Rapids net to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead. The goal came on the man advantage and was the 19th of the season for Sgarbossa, giving the Monsters a 2-0 lead.

Joey Hishon’s rebound shot deflected off Thomas and into the Grand Rapids net for the game’s third goal, giving the Monsters a 3-0 lead at 11:32 of the opening period. The assist marked the first professional point for Hishon, while Thomas’ goal was his team-leading 21st of the season. Andrew Agozzino also assisted on the goal, which game on the power play.

Monsters vs Griffins

In the second period, Grand Rapids scored three unanswered goals to tie the game at 3-3, with Adam Almquist, Louis-Marc Aubry, and Mitch Callahan all getting in on the scoring act for the Griffins.

van der Gulik scored to regain a lead for the Monsters, making the score 4-3, at 3:42 of the third period; his 18th goal of the season. Luke Walker and Thomas Pock assisted on the goal, which was scored when van der Gulik collected the rebound from his own shot.

Almquist tied the game for Grand Rapids at 4:47 of the third period with the goal that ultimately forced overtime.

With 10 seconds remaining in the extra session, Almquist scored from the right circle after a feed from Tomas Tatar, who finished with an assist on each of Almquist’s three goals, to seal the 5-4 win for the Griffins.

Lake Erie goalie Pickard stopped 22 of 27 shots in the loss; he is 16-18-5. McCollum stopped 33 of 37 shots, and is now 15-10-1.

The Monsters will now embark on a five-game road trip, beginning on Wednesday in Milwaukee. The team will not play at The Q again until April 9th (vs. Syracuse).

NOTES: Thomas scored a power play goal for the second straight game, giving him 10 power play goals this season… Sgarbossa scored for the second straight game… Geoff Walker has points in back-to-back games… Agozzino’s assist gives him seven points on three goals and four assists over his last seven games… The Monsters were 2-5 on the power play a night after going 1-3 on the power play against Grand Rapids… The Monsters were a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill, and are now 16-9-1-4 when perfect on the penalty kill… The Monsters are now 1-2-2-0 against Grand Rapids this season, and will meet the Griffins once more on April 20 to close the regular season at The Q.

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