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Monsters Finish Off Crunch in OTTweet
Photo by Lake Erie Monsters / Ben Hall
In a game that featured four lead changes, the Lake Erie Monsters (32-30-3-7) prevailed in overtime over the East Division-leading Syracuse Crunch by a 5-4 score at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday night, with Luke Walker scoring the game-winner for the Monsters. Tomas Vincour scored twice for Lake Erie in regulation, while Bill Thomas and Mike Connolly also added goals. Rookie goalie Kent Patterson, who spent most of the season in the Central Hockey League and was recalled by the Monsters on Tuesday morning, picked up his first American Hockey league victory with the win, which was the third straight victory for the Monsters.
Thomas opened the scoring when he dashed up the right wing and sent a puck off former Monsters goalie and current Syracuse netminder Cedrick Desjardins and into the net to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead at 4:13 of the first period, with assists to Joey Hishon and Markus Lauridsen. The goal was the team-leading 22nd of the season for Thomas.
Syracuse's Dan Sexton would knot the score at 1-1 with a goal at 18:28 of the first period from the side of the net, leaving the score tied at 1-1 after one period.
Vladislav Namestnikov gave Syracuse a 2-1 lead with a power play goal at 10:50 of the second period, but the Monsters would regain the lead with two unanswered tallies. Connolly stabbed home a loose puck in the crease at 14:14 of the second period for his ninth goal of the season, assisted by Thomas and Gabriel Beaupre, to tie the game at 2-2.
Just over four minutes later, at 18:34, Vincour tipped a Thomas Pock point shot on a five-on-three power play for his 15th overall goal of the season to give the Monsters a 3-2 lead after two periods. Sean Sullivan also assisted on Vincour's first goal of the night.
Syracuse scored twice in the first 3:26 of the third period to regain the lead, making the score 4-3 on goals from Andrej Sustr and Philip-Michael Devos.
Vincour, however, would tie the game with the goal that ultimately forced overtime after Hishon's centering feed found its way on the stick of the newly acquired forward, and Vincour finished the job from the top of the crease at 9:42 of the third period. Paul Carey also assisted on the Monsters fourth goal.
Patterson denied Syracuse forward Onjrej Palat on a penalty shot attempt at 1:25 in overtime to prolong the sudden-death period.
In overtime, Walker deflected a puck in front of the Syracuse net following a Thomas Pock point shot for the overtime winner at 2:49 of the extra frame. Lauridsen also assisted on the goal.
Patterson is 1-2-1 in the AHL this season after stopping 25 of 29 shots. Desjardins stopped 20 of 25 shots to fall to 12-17-3.
The Monsters are back on the ice Friday night in Hamilton at 7:30 PM, with all the action airing live on AM 1220 WHKW.
NOTES: The Monsters are 5-3 in games decided in overtime this season… They finish the regular season 3-0-0-1 against the Eastern Conference, playing Hershey and Syracuse twice each… The Monsters are now 18-15-1-3 on home ice… The Monsters are 3-0-0-0 in April, and have won three straight… Hishon's two assists give him five assists and six points over his last six games… Agozzino has a three-game point streak, with two goals and three points overall over his last three games… Markus Lauridsen was a team-best plus-three in the win… The Monsters were 1-6 on the power play, giving them 23 power play goals over their last 23 games… The Monsters were 3-5 on the penalty kill.
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