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Photo by Lake Erie Monsters / Ben Hall
A three-goal lead disappeared in the third period as the Lake Erie Monsters (12-12-1-1) fell by a 7-6 score to the Rochester Americans (12-9-2-0) Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The Monsters were outscored 5-1 in the final 20 minutes. Mike Sgarbossa and Bill Thomas each had three-point nights for the Monsters, who have now dropped their third straight game. After playing the last four games on the road, Thursday began a five-game home stand for the Monsters.
Former Monster Kevin Porter opened the scoring for Rochester at the 3:40 mark of the first period, before Sgarbossa tapped in a loose puck in front of the net to tie the game for the Monsters at 1-1 at 5:18 of the first period. Mark Olver and Thomas assisted on Sgarbossa’s team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Under two minutes later at 7:03, the Monsters took a 2-1 lead when Thomas netted his seventh of the season, tapping in a centering feed from Sgarbossa on the power play. Stefan Elliott also assisted on the goal.
Before the first period ended, Thomas Pock scored after his shot from the left boards deflected off a leg in front and into the Rochester net. The goal required video review, but went on the board as an unassisted tally for Pock at the 16:44 mark to give the Monsters a 3-1 lead.
Olver gave the Monsters a 4-1 advantage when he tapped in a puck that rolled behind Rochester goalie David Leggio after an Andrew Agozzino shot at the 4:15 mark of the second period. Olver’s fourth goal of the season was also assisted by Karl Stollery.
Luke Adam scored for Rochester at the 10:21 mark of the second period to pull the Americans to within a pair, but the Monsters stretched their lead back to 5-2 when Thomas netted another centering feed from Sgarbossa in the final minute of the second period, with another assist going to Sean Sullivan. Thomas’ goal was his second of the game and eighth of the season.
Maxime Legault scored on a rebound for Rochester to pull the Americans back to within two at the 1:41 mark of the third period, but Elliott again answered for the Monsters. After Paul Carey denied a clearing attempt from Rochester’s Alex Biega, Carey spotted Elliott streaking to the goal, and fired a pass toward the net that Elliott redirected in at the 5:15 mark for his first goal of the season. Dean Strong also collected an assist on the goal.
But Rochester countered with four goals over a 10:30 span- between the 6:26 and 16:56 mark of the third period- to take a 7-6 lead and ultimately win the game. Marcus Foligno, Jonathan Parker, Mark Mancari, and Alex Biega capped off the Rochester comeback with third period goals.
Lake Erie rookie netminder Sami Aittokallio (7-7-0) stopped 20 of 27 Rochester shots. David Leggio (11-8-0) stopped 33 of 39 Monsters shots.
The Monsters will next host Chicago Saturday night at 7:30 PM at The Q.
NOTES: Sgarbossa now has seven multi-point games on the season; Thursday was his first professional three-point game… Thomas’ three-point game is a season-high, and gives him two multi-point games on the season; Thomas’ last multi-point game was a two-point game on 11/25/12 @ Hamilton… The Monsters are 6-3-0-0 when Thomas gets a point, and 4-3-0-0 when he scores a goal… The Monsters are 3-6-0-0 against the North Division after the loss to Rochester… Jamie MacQueen and Dean Strong rejoined the Monsters after being recalled from their loans to the Monsters Central Hockey League affiliate, the Denver Cutthroats… Karl Stollery has seven assists over his last 11 games… The Monsters were 1-5 on the power play, and 3-4 on the penalty kill on Thursday.
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