Monsters Lose Lead, then Shootout

The ingredients all seemed to be there: two-goal lead in the third period; Eric Healy, Jamie Lundmark and Dan DaSilva continuing their points steaks; drastically outshooting their opponent; the return of their number two goaltender.  Yet the end result was not what the Monsters were hoping for, because despite all that, Lake Erie eventually fell to the Bulldogs, 4-3, in a shootout in Hamilton on Saturday.

In their third consecutive night of games, and second straight on the road, the Monsters kept pace with the home team throughout the opening period.  Neither side was able to put a score up on the board. 

That changed in the second period though, when Chris Stewart quickly put Lake Erie on the board with his goal just 1:59 into the set.  He was assisted by Brad Richardson, in his first game back from parent club Colorado, and Wes O'Neill. 

It didn't take the home team long to even things, as Janne Lahti found the back of the net for the Bulldogs just :22 seconds later.

The rest of the middle period belonged to Lake Erie.  At the 5:34 mark, Healey lit the lamp off a pass from Lundmark.  The veteran Healey, who has now recorded five points in the last four games, continues to lead the team with 31 points (12G, 19A).  Lundmark carried on his own streak, as he has posted six points in the past five games.

Kenny Roche added to the Monsters lead with his goal at 15:33, assisted by DaSilva and Vladimir Denisov.  DaSilva has three points in his last three games for Lake Erie.  The Monsters dominated Hamilton, putting up 16 shots to the Bulldogs seven in the period. 

Lake Erie would carry their 3-1 lead into the third stanza, but despite again outshooting Hamilton, 16-8, the Bulldogs would score twice to tie the game and send it into overtime.

First Mathieu Biron scored shorthanded at 6:58 to put the home team within one.  Then Mikhail Grabovski converted on the power play at 12:41 to even the score.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net during overtime, despite the Monsters again outshooting Hamilton, 4-2. 

Hamilton appeared to use the home ice advantage, making quick work of the Monsters in the shootout.  The Bulldogs converted all four of their attempts, while Philippe Dupuis was the only one of three Lake Erie players to score, resulting in the 4-3 final.

Overall, Lake Erie outshot Hamilton, 43-27, on the night, their biggest margin of the season.  Monsters netminder Jason Bacashihua was between the pipes for the first time since going out with an injury on December 14th.  He posted 23 saves on 27 shots. 

It took two Bulldogs goalies to defeat the Monsters.  After giving up all three Lake Erie goals in the first 35:00, Yann Danis was replaced in goal by Jaroslav Halak for the remainder of the contest.  Danis had 18 saves on 21 shots, while Halak blocked all 22 shots he faced. 

The Monsters will finish up their four-games-in-five-nights swing in Syracuse on Monday.  They will face the Crunch at 7:00 p.m,, and the game will be televised on FSN Ohio.


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