Comeback Attempt Comes Up Short

After trailing 4-1 at the end of the second period, the Monsters nearly mounted a comeback with two quick goals to start the third, but fell by a 4-3 final to the Rochester Americans at Quicken Loans Arena Tuesday night. The loss snapped a three-game home winning streak for the Monsters, who are now 10-5-2-2 on home ice and 15-16-3-4 overall.

The Monsters took a comfortable 4-1 win over Rochester last Wednesday at The Q, but the Amerks tied the eight-game regular season series at one game apiece on Tuesday. The two teams will meet three more times this month.

Lake Erie jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 12:03 of the opening period when Justin Mercier scored his fifth of the season. Mercier picked off a loose puck in the neutral zone, broke into Rochester territory and rifled a shot into the top right corner for an unassisted goal.

The Amerks (17-17-2-2) were quick to answer, as Clay Wilson scored on an offensive zone rush at 14:52 of the period.

Both teams had one goal on the board after the opening 20 minutes, while Rochester held a 13-6 lead in shots.

At 10:01 of the middle frame, the Amerks took their first lead of the night off a power play goal by Michal Repik. He was assisted by Bill Thomas and Wilson.

Just 23 seconds later, Scott Timmins shoveled a backhand shot into the top right corner to quickly put Rochester up 3-1. He and Triston Grant recorded assists.

Rochester netted its third goal in five minutes when Jordan Knackstedt scored off an assist by Mike Kostka at the 15:14 mark of the second.

Despite surrendering three goals in the second period to fall into a 4-1 deficit, Lake Erie outshot Rochester by a 15-6 count in the frame.

Resenting their three-goal deficit, the Monsters scored twice in a span of seven seconds in the opening minutes of the third period.

At 1:12, Lake Erie capitalized on a 5-on-3 opportunity to make the score 4-2. From the left point, Travis Gawryletz ripped a slap shot into the bottom right corner of the net. Matt Ford assisted for his fifth point (2G, 3A) in as many games, while Cameron Gaunce chipped in his 10th helper of the season.

Still on a one-man advantage at 1:19, the Monsters cut the margin to one when Ryan Stoa tipped in Patrick Rissmiller’s pass to make the score 4-3. Stoa’s goal came as his team-leading 12th of the season and fifth point (3G, 2A) in as many games, while Rissmiller’s assist came as his team-leading 10th power play point (3G, 7A) of the season.

The Lake Erie comeback would come up short, however. Despite outshooting Rochester by a 30-26 count, the night ended with a 4-3 win for the Amerks.

With two power play tallies Tuesday, Lake Erie has notched seven goals with the man advantage in its last five games.

John Grahame made 22 stops on 26 shots in net for Lake Erie. At the other end, Jacob Markstrom went 27-for-30 in the Rochester win.

The Monsters will face the Houston Aeros at 8:35 p.m. Friday, kicking off a three-in-three weekend and a seven-game road swing.

Three Stars: 1. RCH Knackstedt (GW goal); 2. RCH Repik (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. RCH Wilson (1 goal, 1 assist).

 
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