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Abbotsford Heat forward Dustin Sylvester had previously played three games in his career with the Monsters, and this season he has now scored three goals against the Monsters; the third of which was the game-winning tally late in the second period on Saturday. The Heat defeated the Monsters 3-1 in Abbotsford, giving them the four-game season sweep over Lake Erie.
The first goal of the game didn't come until the 17:52 mark when defenseman Brett Carson pounced on a loose puck amidst a scramble in front of Monsters goalie Cedrick Desjardins. Carson poked the puck through traffic in front, and gave Abbotsford a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Hugh Jessiman tied the game for the Monsters after a series of tic-tac-toe passing with his linemates Ryan Stoa and newly-acquired Eric Lampe. Jessiman deked Abbotsford goalie Danny Taylor and backhanded a puck into the goal for his team-leading 10th tally of the season. Signed by Lake Erie earlier in the day, the assist was Lampe's' first point in his first game as a Monster; the center had been leading the ECHL in goals with 20 in 24 games for the Las Vegas Wranglers, and arrived in Abbotsford just in time for the opening faceoff.
With 33 seconds remaining in the second period, Sylvester received a pass across the top of the goal crease from Abbotsford captain Quintin Laing, and Sylvester quickly snapped the puck into the Monsters goal for the eventual game-winner, making the score 2-1. The power play goal came following a Desjardins save on a one-timer attempt from Heat forward Roman Horak.
With 49 seconds left in the game, Lance Bouma scored an empty-netter for the Heat to make it a 3-1 final score.Desjardins (5-4-1) stopped 23 of 25 in net for the Monsters. Taylor (8-3-0) stopped 24 of 25 shots for Abbotsford.
The Monsters are back in action Wednesday night in Hamilton against the Bulldogs to wrap up a season-long six-game road trip. The puck drops at 7:30 PM Eastern, and all the action from Hamilton can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW.
NOTES: Greg Mauldin (sick) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game... The Monsters have fallen in back-to-back games for the first time since losing three straight games from November 2nd through November 5th... Justin Mercier has played 170 games as a Monster; he is now only three games away from tying Ray Macias for the all-time franchise lead in games played.
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