Monsters Start 2-0 with Shootout Win

Photos courtesy of syracuse.com
After playing in Cleveland on Friday to open the 2010-11 season, Lake Erie and Syracuse headed to upstate New York to face each other again Saturday. While the location was different, the result was the same: a Monsters victory.

Julian Talbot scored his second goal in as many nights in regulation and Ben Walter scored the game winner in the shootout to give the Monsters a 2-1 win in Syracuse on Saturday night. John Grahame recorded the win in goal, posting 17 saves on 18 shots in 65 minutes. Lake Erie is now 2-0 to start the season for the second time in the four-year history of the team.

Lake Erie dominated Syracuse offensively throughout the game, outshooting the home team 41-18. Despite that, neither team was able to capitalize until nearly the end of the second period. Talbot put the Monsters on the board at the 17:16 mark of the middle frame, assisted by Travis Gawryletz and Cameron Gaunce. Gawryletz also recorded a helper in Friday's game.

The Monsters finished the second period with a 1-0 lead, but it wouldn't take the Crunch long to tie it up. Just two minutes into the third, Maxime Macenauer scored on the power play for Syracuse, assisted by Stu Bickel and Danny Syvret. It was the first power play goal allowed by the Monsters this season.

Lake Erie outshot Syracuse 17-5 in the final 20 minutes, however after Macenauer's marker, neither team would find the back of the net again. Regulation ended with a 1-1 tie and after five sudden-death minutes of overtime, the teams headed to a shootout.

The home team shot first and missed, as did Lake Erie's first shooter, Ryan Stoa. After another failed attempt by the Crunch, Walter converted for the Monsters. Another miss by Syracuse was followed by Kevin Shattenkirk's goal for the Monsters, forcing Syracuse's fourth shooter to convert or go home. Trevor Smith was unable to get past Grahame, giving Lake Erie the 2-1 win. Syracuse goalie J.P. Levasseur had 39 saves on 40 shots in the loss.

The Monsters will now be off for one week before returning to action next Saturday, October 16th, in Oklahoma City. The game will begin a six-game, nine-day trip for Lake Erie.

Three stars: 1. Walter (GW goal); 2. Levasseur (39 saves); 3. Talbot (1 goal)

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