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Hensick and Bacashihua Get Shootout WinTweet
The Lake Erie Monsters put on a show to remember as they battled back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Hamilton Bulldogs in a shootout, 5-4, in front of 12,291 strong Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Hamilton put themselves on the board first, as a crossing pass from Corey Locke was tapped in by Brett Engelhardt at the 16:28 mark of the opening period. Also given an assist on the first goal of the game was Pavel Valentenko.
Engelhardt decided to add his 11th goal of the season at the beginning of the second period off another pass from Locke just 0:42 seconds into the frame. Jonathan Ferland was given the second assist on the Engelhardt tally.
T.J. Hensick did his best to help the Monsters claw back into the game as he scored off a pass from Jamie Lundmark. Hensick’s marker came at the 2:23 mark of the second.
To complete the hat trick in a span of less than seven minutes (6:37), Engelhardt put his third biscuit of the night in on a pass from Ferland. Locke added his third assist on the night on Engelhardt’s third tally at the 3:05 mark of the second.
Hensick notched a second goal just moments later, at the 4:55 mark of the second, on a tight crossing pass in the slot from Lundmark. Hensick’s 12th tally of the season cut the Bulldogs lead to 3-2.
“It felt good. I had a conversation with Joe (Sacco) yesterday about my play recently. I need to play with a little more energy and I thought I brought that tonight,” said Hensick.
In dramatic fashion, with less than a full tick on the clock (19:59 mark) in the second, Tom Fritsche scored from the doorstep to tie the game up at 3-3. Chris Stewart had the lone helper on the game-tying tally from Fritsche.
In the second period, the Monsters defense held tough, holding Hamilton to no face-offs in the Lake Erie zone during the entire period.
Lake Erie’s fire power continued late into the third period as Brad Richardson went five-hole to score the go-ahead goal with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Richardson’s tally at 14:29 marked the third consecutive goal for the Monsters. Hensick was credited with the helper on Richardson’s 11th tally of the year, completing a three-point night for Hensick (10th multi-point game of the season).
Hamilton didn’t give up after allowing three unanswered tallies as they put up one of their own with less than two minutes remaining in the game at 18:52. Janne Lahti posted his ninth goal of the campaign on a pass from Mathieu Carle, who received a feed from Duncan Milroy to tie the game at 4-4.
The two teams then went to the overtime period, which resulted in a stalemate after the five minute period ended.
The shootout began with a tally by Hensick, who got the Monsters off on the right foot. Locke notched a marker of his own to give Hamilton the lone tally of the shootout. Brad Richardson’s shootout goal put the Monsters over the top as Jason Bacashihua stopped four of the five shootout attempts.
Lake Erie netminder Bacashihua turned away 45 of 49 shots on the night while standing on his head in the shootout period. Hamilton goalie Yann Danis made 21 of 25 stops in addition to denying three of the five shootout tallies in the loss.
“Obviously the crowd helped. Having 12,000 people in the stands behind your back is like having a sixth player out there. They did a great job of getting the boys pumped up and cheering loud for us. I think that had something to do with tonight’s win,” said Bacashihua.
“We needed a win badly and tonight we had great support from our fans. It was an exciting game and an entertaining one for the fans. I was pleased with the effort. The guys were pretty resilient tonight. We fought all the way to the end,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco.
The Monsters head to Hamilton to face these same Bulldogs in their own barn on Saturday night. Lake Erie returns to action at home Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. versus the Syracuse Crunch.
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