First Shootout Ends in Loss

The Lake Erie Monsters (6-9-1-1) took a two-goal lead less than six minutes into Thursday’s game at Quicken Loans Arena, but were unable to hang on as the Peoria Rivermen (9-6-1-1) won the first game of the season series in a shootout by a 4-3 score. David van der Gulik notched his team-leading sixth multiple-point effort of the season, and the Monsters do earn one point in the standings in the team’s first shootout of the season.

Greg Mauldin picked up the rebound from a Tyson Barrie point shot at 4:04 of the opening period with the Monsters on the power play, and the veteran forward fired a wrist shot into the goal from the left circle. van der Gulik also assisted on the goal, which gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead. The goal was the third of the season for Mauldin.

Less than two minutes later, at 5:40 of the opening period, Hugh Jessiman scored his fourth of the season to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead. Jessiman took a pass at the top of the crease from Justin Mercier, promptly banging the puck past Peoria goalie Ben Bishop. Eric Hunter also assisted on the even-strength goal.

At 7:09 of the first period, Brett Sterling put the Rivermen on the board when he received a Derek Nesbitt pass in front of the net, tipping the puck by Monsters goalie Cedrick Desjardins. T.J. Hensick, a former Monster who sits atop Lake Erie’s all-time assists and points chart, also assisted on the goal that cut the Monsters lead to 2-1.

Anthony Nigro scored the only goal of the second period on a backhand shot at 16:43 of the period. The goal was his fifth of the season, and tied the game at 2-2.

With Mike Carman serving a penalty for the Monsters when the third period began, the Rivermen capitalized on their power play opportunity when Adam Cracknell tapped a rebound out of mid-air to beat Desjardins. The goal was scored with two seconds remaining in the Carman penalty.

van der Gulik tied the game at 3-3 with his fifth goal of the season at 9:09 of the third period. The Monsters points leader fed a centering pass to the front of the net, and the pass bounced off a Peoria player and into the net for the game-tying tally. van der Gulik is tied with Evan Brophey for the team lead in goals after his marker in Thursday’s game. Stefan Elliott and Cameron Gaunce assisted on the goal.

Overtime didn’t do the trick, so it was off to a shootout for the two teams. Nesbitt, the first shooter for Peoria, scored the only goal in the five-round shootout to earn the second standings point for the Rivermen.

Desjardins’ personal record moves to 3-2-1 with the shootout loss; he stopped 34 of 37 shots in 65 minutes. Bishop is now 8-4-0 after stopping 33 of 36 shots.

The Monsters and Rivermen are back at it on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. The game can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW.

NOTES: van der Gulik has a three-game points streak and a three-game assist streak… Ben Wilson’s slashing penalty in the second period gives him 22 penalty minutes on the season, but was his first minor penalty of the campaign; his other 20 penalty minutes were accrued by his four fighting majors… Brad Malone and Ryan Stoa had two-game points streaks snapped against Peoria… Tyson Barrie has assists in back-to-back games… The shootout was the first of the season for the Monsters… the current unbeaten-in-regulation streak of three games ties the Monsters longest such streak this season; they were 2-0-1-0 from October 21st to 23rd.

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