Monsters Fall in Shootout to Heat


Despite taking a two-goal lead into the final minute of the second period, the Lake Erie Monsters (24-17-2-4) fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Abbotsford Heat (25-16-3-4) at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre Saturday night. Gary Steffes, Brad Malone, and Daniel Maggio scored for the Monsters, with Steffes' and Maggio's tallies being their first in the American Hockey League. The Monsters have points in the standings in eight of their last nine games, as they collect one point with the shootout loss.

Steffes' first AHL goal gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead at 6:34 of the first period. Steffes cruised through the left circle, and quickly snapped a wrist shot that beat Abbotsford goalie Barry Brust glove side. The goal was assisted by Mike Connolly.

Capitalizing on a two-on-one rush, Paul Byron connected with former Monsters forward Dustin Sylvester to tie the game for Abbotsford at 14:49 of the opening frame.

Brad Malone regained a one-goal lead for the Monsters - making the score 2-1 at 4:33 of the second period - when his centering pass bounced off an Abbotsford defender and into the net for his ninth goal of the season. The marker was assisted by Connolly and Cameron Gaunce.

Maggio's blast from the right point extended the Monsters lead to 3-1 at 8:41 of the second period. Having joined the Monsters earlier in the week, the goal was Maggio’s first in the AHL and was assisted by Geoff Walker and Harrison Reed.

Abbotsford scored with 56 seconds left in the second period when Brett Olson fired a backhand past Lake Erie rookie goalie Calvin Pickard, cutting the Monsters lead to 3-2 entering the final frame.

The lone goal of the third period came with 51 seconds remaining and the Abbotsford net empty; Max Reinhart's shot from the right circle was deflected in by Sylvester, tying the game at 3-3 for the Heat and forcing overtime.

The Monsters had a power play opportunity late in overtime, but were unable to score despite carrying a 6-0 shots advantage through the extra frame. In the shootout, the Heat scored on three of four opportunities, while Brust was perfect against three Monsters shooters to earn a 4-3 win for the Heat.

Pickard stopped 17 of 20 as his record in net for the Monsters moves to 13-10-3. Brust is 10-7-2 and stopped 29 of 32 shots in net for the Heat.

The Monsters and Heat meet again Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, with all the action airing live on AM 1220 WHKW.

NOTES: The Monsters are 2-4-0-1 against the Heat this season... The two teams will play the eighth and final game of their season series on Sunday… The Monsters are 5-4 in shootouts this season, and their overall road record moves to 14-9-1-1... The Monsters are now 2-1-0-3 over their last six games, and have dropped two straight games by way of a shootout... With a goal, Malone has three goals and four points over his last four games... Steffes has a goal and two points over his last two games... Brian Sutherby and Steffes each registered major penalties for fighting in the game.

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