Monsters Suffer Last Minute Defeat in OKC

Sami Aittokallio

Scoresheet

Anton Lander’s power play goal with 19.8 seconds remaining handed the Lake Erie Monsters (20-24-0-4) a 2-1 loss in Oklahoma City to the Barons (22-22-1-5) Friday night at Cox Convention Center. Matt Hunwick scored the only goal for the Monsters, who have dropped three straight games. The Monsters and Barons hit the ice for a rematch Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern in Oklahoma City.
 
A scoreless first period saw Monsters goalie Sami Aittokallio stop all 11 Oklahoma City shots he saw, while Richard Bachman was perfect in the Barons net as well; he stopped 14 of 14 Monsters shots.
 
Each team struck with a goal in the second period. Oklahoma City’s C.J. Stretch opened the scoring when he tapped in a rebound from the top of the goal crease at 4:41 of the middle frame, giving the Barons a 1-0 lead. Inside two minutes to go in the frame- at the 18:07 mark, Matt Hunwick found a loose puck to the left of the Oklahoma City net, and snapped it past Bachman to tie the game at 1-1.  Mark Olver and Andrew Agozzino assisted on Hunwick’s ninth goal of the season.
 
The game remained tied at 1-1 until just 19.8 second remained in regulation time. With Oklahoma City on the power play, Brad Hunt sent a pass over to the top of the right circle, where Lander blasted a one-timer past Aittokallio to give the Barons the eventual game-winning goal, leaving the score at 2-1.
 
Aittokallio is 9-11-1 after stopping 32 of 34 shots in the loss. Bachman stopped 39 of 40 Monsters shots, and is 14-12-2 on the campaign.
 
The Monsters and Barons meet again Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern; a game that can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW.
 
NOTES: The Monsters are 1-2-0-0 against Oklahoma City this season… The Monsters are 1-4-0-0 in February, and 4-7-0-0 against the West Division this season… Friday’s game marked the first visit to Oklahoma City for the Monsters since 10/23/12… Garrett Meurs’ point streak was snapped at three games; he had a goal and two assists over the streak… Agozzino’s assist gives him three points in three games against Oklahoma City this season… The Monsters were 0-1 on the power play, and 4-5 on the penalty kill Friday.

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