Monsters Defeat Stars In Shootout

Rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard made a career-high 45 saves and Mike Sgarbossa and Bryan Lerg had two points each for the second straight night to help the Lake Erie Monsters (9-4-0-0) to a 5-4 shootout win over the Texas Stars (3-6-0-1) at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Saturday was the second straight Lake Erie game that has gone to a shootout (5-4 win in Houston on Friday), and the fourth in the last six games. With Saturday’s win, the Monsters remain perfect in shootouts; improving the team's mark to 4-0 in shootouts so far this season. Overall, the Monsters have now won five of their last six games.

Luke Walker opened the scoring for the Monsters when he caught an outlet pass up the right side of the ice from Sgarbossa and moved into the right circle before snapping a low shot by Texas goalie Jack Campbell at 4:26 of the first period. Walker's goal was his fourth of the season.

Texas knotted the game on the power play at 16:19 of the first period when Matt Fraser sent a puck over the shoulder of Pickard.

After the Monsters killed off a 1:02 five-on-three to begin the second period and 1:48 of total Texas power play time, Lerg ripped a shot from the right circle to beat Campbell and regain the lead for the Monsters, making the score 2-1. Lerg's goal was his seventh, assisted by Sean Sullivan and Karl Stollery.

At the 14:45 mark of the second period, Tomas Vincour picked up his own rebound off the goal post to beat Pickard from the bottom of the right circle to tie the game at 2-2 for the Stars.

At 6:36 and 6:50 of the third period, the Monsters registered two goals in 14 seconds. Sgarbossa picked up a bouncing puck and sent it low on Campbell for his sixth goal of the season, from Lerg and Walker, to make it a 3-2 game. Brad Malone then extended the Monsters lead to 4-2 when he tapped in the rebound from a Mark Olver shot at the 6:50 mark. The goal was Malone's third, with the lone assist going to Olver.

Texas' Cody Eakin scored with 2:03 left to pull the Stars to within a goal, and Fraser netted his second of the game on the power play to beat the clock as time expired to tie the game for the Stars. Fraser's backhand from the right circle at 19:59 of the third period was reviewed, and counted.

Overtime didn't yield a winner, but in the shootout, Pickard stopped three of four Texas shooters, and Malone, Lerg, and Olver scored to earn the second point and the victory for the Monsters.

Pickard stopped 45 shots in the game, a new season-high for a Monsters goalie. He is now 5-3-0. Jack Campbell is 2-2-1 after stopping 22 of 26 shots in the shootout loss.

The Monsters are back in action Tuesday night in Abbotsford against the Heat, with all the action beginning at 10:00 PM Eastern. The game can be heard live on ESPN 850 WKNR.

NOTES: The Monsters are now 4-1-0-0 on their current seven-game stretch of road games... Calvin Pickard is now 3-0-0 in his career in games played at the Cedar Park Center... Pickard stopped 20 shots in the first period, a new season-high for a Monsters goalie... His 20 saves in the first period were one off Mike Wall's franchise record for saves in a period set on 2/9/08 against Grand Rapids... Lerg and Sgarbossa each have back-to-back multi-point games... Lerg's goal in the shootout was his fourth shootout tally of the season, which leads the AHL at the conclusion of Saturday night's game; he is a perfect 4-4... The Monsters are now 7-2-0-0 on the road in 2012-13.

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