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Monsters Take 3-1 AdvantageTweet
Lake Erie will have a chance to finish the series in Game 5, which will be played at the MTS Centre at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday night.
The Monsters took a 2-0 lead off a pair of power play goals in the first period. At 13:12, Ben Walter scored off assists from Justin Mercier and David van der Gulik. Van der Gulik’s assist marked his fourth point (2G, 2A) in his last three games. Just 3:17 later, Luke Walker scored his first of the Playoffs on a breakaway off helpers from Mark Olver and Stefan Elliot. For Elliot, who just signed with the Monsters on April 16th, it was his first point as a professional.
After an opening period in which both teams recorded 16 shots, the Monsters carried a 2-0 lead.
Just 3:08 into the middle frame, the Moose cut their deficit in half and made the score 2-1 off a tally by Kevin Clark. Bill Sweatt and Nolan Baumgartner assisted.
At the 7:56 mark, the Monsters regained their two-goal lead when Mercier netted a power play goal to make the score 3-1. Walter, who has recorded at least a point in each game of this series, assisted to mark his fifth point (3G, 2A) of the Playoffs. Shawn Belle also assisted.
Just 1:04 later, with Matt Ford serving a minor penalty for slashing, Mercier shot down the middle of the ice on a breakaway and scored his second shorthanded goal of the Playoffs to put Lake Erie ahead by a 4-1 count.
Mercier’s goal chased former Monster Tyler Weiman from the Manitoba cage, making way for rookie Eddie Lack, who started Game 1 before getting replaced by Weiman mid-game.
Before the second period expired, the Moose climbed to within two of Lake Erie, as Jason Jaffray scored at the 17:45 mark. Sergei Shirokov and Marco Rosa assisted.
The Monsters recorded seven shots compared to 13 by Manitoba in the second period, but led by a 4-2 score after 40 minutes.
In the third period, the Moose made the score 4-3 when Clark scored at 13:56 to mark his second goal of the game. Jaffray and Rosa recorded assists.
With an empty Manitoba net, at 19:27 of the period, Matt Ford put the Monsters up 5-3 with a goal that was assisted by Julian Talbot and Julien Brouillette. Ford raced to beat out a Moose defender for the puck behind the goal and wrapped around to put it in the empty net.
Then, with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Olver scored an empty-net goal off an assist from goaltender John Grahame to finalize a 6-3 game.
Grahame turned aside 33 of 36 shots faced in his third consecutive start for the Monsters. Weiman went 16-for-20 in goal for the Moose, while Lack posted eight saves on 10 shots in relief.
Three Stars: 1. LE Walter (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. MTB Clark (2 goals); 3. LE Mercier (2 goals, 1 assist)
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