Back on the Winning Track

The Lake Erie Monsters went into Saturday's game in Toronto needing to win in order to have a chance to clinch the franchise's first-ever playoff spot later that night, when they would then need an Abbotsford regulation loss to Grand Rapids in order to guarantee postseason play. In defeating the Marlies 2-0, the Monsters took care of their half of the equation and now await the results of the Heat-Griffins game, which begins at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Lake Erie goaltender Jason Bacashihua recorded his third shutout of the season and the fourth overall for the team. The shutout also put the Monsters back on the winning track, having lost their last two after winning a franchise-record eight straight. The Monsters are now 41-27-3-5 and in third place in the North Division, just one point out of first place.

Monsters captain Ben Walter would score the eventual game winner at 13:37 of the first period. His power play tally was assisted by Julien Brouillette and Shawn Belle. Walter has now recorded points in 18 of the last 20 games, posting six goals and 22 assists during that time. Brouillete has notched assists in three straight games and has points in seven of the last nine (1g, 6a).

Lake Erie outshot Toronto 7-5 in the first period and ended the frame with a 1-0 lead.

The Monsters once again bested the Marlies in shots 7-5 in the second period, however neither team was able to light the lamp. Forty minutes passed with the Monsters still leading 1-0.

In a close third period, it looked as though the game would end with the same 1-0 score until David van der Gulik iced the Lake Erie victory with his empty-net goal with six seconds remaining. Van der Gulik has recorded points in 10 of the last 11 games (5g, 10a). Greg Mauldin assisted, giving the Monsters the 2-0 win.

Bacashihua finished the night having stopped all 21 shots he faced. Ben Scrivens had 22 saves on 23 shots for Toronto.

Lake Erie will be idle until Wednesday, when Toronto comes to Quicken Loans Arena for a rematch of Saturday's game


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