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Monsters Turn the Table on IceHogs, Win 5-1Tweet
John Saraya / Lake Erie Monsters
Five different goal scorers and a 30-save performance from Sami Aittokallio helped the Lake Erie Monsters (2-3-0-0) to a 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs (2-2-0-0) Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Andrew Agozzino led the way for the Monsters with a three-point night, registering a goal and two assists in the win. Matt Hunwick, a veteran of 291 NHL games, made his Monsters debut and registered an assist. The victory comes a night after Rockford handed the Monsters a 5-2 loss at The Q.
Karl Stollery opened the scoring for the Monsters at 3:17 of the first period. Garrett Meurs won a battle for a loose puck on the left wing boards, fed a pass to Paul Carey, and Carey spun a backhand pass to Stollery in the high slot. Stollery scored his first of the season on a hard slap shot that beat Rockford goalie Antti Raanta.
Less than nine minutes later with the Monsters on the power play, Mike Sgarbossa sent a pass to Bryan Lerg at the side of the net, and Lerg connected on a pass to Agozzino across the crease, giving Agozzino a wide-open net. Agozzino scored his first of the season, extending the Monsters lead to 2-0 at 12:12 of the opening period.
The Monsters added another two goals in the second period; the first of which was set up by Agozzino on a centering pass to J.T. Wyman in the slot. Wyman took the pass and sent a low one-timer through the five-hole of Raanta, giving the Monsters a 3-0 lead. Brad Malone also assisted on the tally at 3:55 of the second period. The goal was Wyman’s first of the season and first as a Monster.
Mark Olver tipped in a point shot from Hunwick at 14:33 of the second period; another power play goal for the Monsters. Also assisted by Stefan Elliott, Olver’s second goal of the season gave the Monsters a 4-0 lead.
Rockford broke Aittokallio’s shutout at 3:18 of the third period on a Brad Mills power play goal, but the Monsters responded with Lerg’s shorthanded empty-net goal - nearly a full-ice shot - at 13:25 of the third period. Lerg’s fourth goal in five games this season regained a four-goal cushion for the Monsters, and Agozzino and Elliott assisted on the marker.
Aittokallio improves to 1-1-0-0 as he stopped 30 of 31 shots. Raanta came up on the short-end of an all-Finnish goaltending matchup, as he allowed four goals on 35 shots against; his personal record is now 1-1-0-0.
The Monsters will be back in action on Friday, hosting the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: The Monsters registered 20 shots in the first period; a season-high for a single period… Meurs’ assist was his first professional point… Agozzino’s three-point game marks the first three-point performance for a Monsters player this season… Lerg has five points in five games to start the season… With two power play goals on the night, the Monsters now have six power play goals in five games this season… With two assists, Elliott leads the team with four assists in five games this season; he also has five points in five games to start the campaign… The win evens the season series between the Monsters and IceHogs at one win each.
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