Richardson's Hat Trick Not Enough in Syracuse

Playing the fourth of five games in six days, all against North Division opponents, the Monsters got a Herculean effort from Brad Richardson on Saturday.  Unfortunately for them, Richardson's hat trick was not enough to lift the Monsters past the Crunch, as they fell, 6-5, in overtime in Syracuse. 

Lake Erie entered Saturday's game with a 3-2-1-0 record against the Crunch this season, with all three wins happening in New York.

Richardson put the Monsters on the board first midway through the opening period.  His goal at 11:49 was assisted by Eric Healey.

Syracuse countered a few minutes later when Andrei Plekhanov found the back of the Lake Erie net at the 15:12 mark on a power play.  Alexandre Picard and Tom Sestito helped on the score. 

The Monsters regained the lead shortly thereafter on T.J. Hensick's goal at 17:17, assisted by Michael Vernace and Tom Fritsche.  Lake Erie newcomer Fritsche had just recorded his first professional assist the previous night, against Toronto on Friday. The Monsters finished the first period with the 2-1 advantage.

The Crunch did not take long to respond, evening the score just 1:27 into the second period on a Derick Brassard goal. Nate DiCasmirro and Plekhanov were given the assists.

Neither team would find an advantage for half the middle frame until Derek Dorsett's score at 11:58.  He was assisted by Jon Mirasty and Brett Motherwell, giving the Crunch the one-goal lead.

Lake Erie bounced back, tying the game once again at the 14:39 point of the second on a Richardson power play score.  Johnny Boychuk and Hensick were credited with the assists.  With his pair of points against the Crunch, Hensick has recently recorded 12 points (2G, 10A) in as many games.

Just a minute later, Jamie Lundmark gave the Monsters the lead once again.  His goal at 15:55 was helped by Ray Macias and Dan DaSilva, and put Lake Erie up, 4-3.  The second period would end with that score intact.

The Crunch tied it up yet again early in the third, as Plekhanov netted his second of the night at 3:20, assisted by Trevor Frischmon.

Richardson responded almost immediately, completing his hat trick and putting the Monsters up, 5-4, at the 5:51 mark of the third.  Healey and Brent Kelly were credited with the assists.  Richardson's threesome on the night is the third hat trick of the season for Lake Erie (joining Chris Stewart and Kelly).  After Saturday's performance, Richardson has netted 22 points (6G, 16A) over the past 13 games.

The Lake Erie lead would not last long, as the ping pong, back-and-forth gameplay continued.  Syracuse notched it up at five apiece with Brassard's goal at 9:36, helped by DiCasmirro. 

Neither team would light the lamp for the remainder of regulation, sending the game into overtime with a 5-5 even score.

The scoring drought continued through OT, and it looked like the teams were heading for a shootout.  With just :30 seconds remaining in the extra session, Marc Methot gave the Crunch the win with his unassisted goal.

Syracuse outshot Lake Erie, 44-25, on the night.

Tyler Weiman was between the pipes for the Monsters.  He turned away 38 of 44 shots on the night.  Crunch netminder Adam Munro deflected 20 of the 25 shots he faced.

Lake Erie will play its third straight game, and last of five in six days, in Toronto on Sunday.

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