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Monsters Come Back for Overtime WinTweet
The win came as Lake Erie’s eighth victory in its last 10 games (8-2-0-0) overall, extended its home point streak to a franchise-high eight games (7-0-0-1) and moved the team into a tie with Hamilton and Manitoba for first place in the North Division.
Rockford converted on its first shot of the game to take a 1-0 lead at 2:17 of the opening period. Garnet Exelby took a drop pass from Mathis Olimb in the left circle and lifted a shot into the top right corner of the net. Kyle Beach also assisted.
The IceHogs carried their one-goal lead and a 10-7 shot advantage into the first intermission.
Just 1:14 into the middle frame, the Monsters tied the game at a goal apiece when Matt Ford tipped in a pass from Mark Olver. Julian Talbot also assisted.
Rockford quickly regained its one-goal lead, as Ben Smith scored a power play tally off a pass from Rob Klinkhammer at the 3:18 mark.
Lake Erie trailed 2-1 at the end of the second, while they were outshot 16-8 in the period.
The Monsters tied the game at two goals apiece with a power play goal at 4:13 of the third period. Joel Chouinard took a slap shot from the right point and Olver buried the rebound for his team-leading 23rd goal of the season. Olver’s goal marked his ninth multi-point game of the season. Ben Walter also assisted, extending his point streak to eight games (2G, 10A), the longest of any Monster this season.
Lake Erie recorded 20 shots in the third period – a season high for shots in a single frame – but neither team managed to snap the deadlock in the remainder of regulation, setting up a five-minute sudden-death overtime session.
The Monsters began overtime with a 5-on-3 power play and scored the decisive goal just 11 seconds into the extra session. Julien Brouillette tried a slap shot from the point and Ford tapped in the rebound from the left doorstep, marking his ninth point (7G, 2A) in eight games and his fifth multi-point game of the season. Ford’s game-winner also came as his seventh as a Monster, tying him for first among all-time franchise leaders (Phil Dupuis). Brouillette’s assist marked his third helper in as many games, while Talbot also assisted for his seventh multi-point game of the season and third assist in his last three outings.
Jason Bacashihua stopped 30 of 32 shots faced, marking his third straight victory, as well as his seventh win in his last eight starts.
At the other end, Hannu Toivenen went 33-for-36 in the loss for Rockford.
The Monsters will host the IceHogs for a rematch on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars: 1. LE Ford (2 goals); 2. LE Olver (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. LE Bacashihua (30 saves)
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