Monsters Fall in Texas 5-1


Brett Ritchie scored four goals for the home team as the Lake Erie Monsters (29-30-0-9) were handed a 5-1 loss by the Western Conference-leading Texas Stars (44-17-3-6) Friday night at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Andrew Agozzino scored the only goal for the Monsters, while Mark Olver’s assist extended his point streak to a Monsters season-best nine games. The Monsters are eight points behind the Charlotte Checkers, who currently own the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Monsters have eight games remaining, while Charlotte has six left. The Monsters are back on the ice in San Antonio Saturday night at 8:00 PM.

Texas opened the scoring at 5:04 of the first period when Brett Ritchie’s centering pass bounced off a Monster in front of the net with the Stars on a power play, but Andrew Agozzino would answer for the Monsters. David van der Gulik charged hard on the forecheck up the right side of the ice, Mark Olver pushed the puck toward Agozzino in front of the net, and Agozzino sent a puck low to beat Texas goalie Jack Campbell. The goal was assisted by Mark Olver and David van der Gulik at 12:19 of the first period, and was the 14th tally of the season for Agozzino.

The Stars scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes. Ritchie notched his second goal of the game at 14:54 of the middle frame, and Justin Dowling snapped a shot from the slot that beat the Monsters Sami Aittokallio at 17:00 of the second period. Both Texas goals in the second period were scored at even strength.

Ritchie completed his hat trick for Texas at 5:18 of the third period, carrying a puck through the right circle and sending it top-shelf for the goal. Ritchie’s third of the game made the score 4-1 for the Stars. Ritchie would add his fourth goal of the game at 9:08 of the third period when he one-timed a Mike Hedden centering pass past Aittokallio from the top of the goal crease, making the score 5-1.

Aittokallio stopped 27 of 32 shots in the Monsters net, and the loss drops his overall record to 13-13-3. Campbell is 11-1-1 after the win for Texas; he stopped 29 of 30 Monsters shots.

The Monsters are back on the ice in San Antonio Saturday at 8:00 PM Eastern; a game that airs live on AM 1220 WHKW.

NOTES: Olver’s assist extended his point streak to nine games; Olver has nine assists and 12 points overall during his streak… The longest point streak in Monsters history is 10 games, a record set by David Jones between January 1, 2008 and February 1, 2008… Agozzino’s goal extended his point streak to six games; he has two goals and eight points over the streak… van der Gulik’s assist gives him a five-game point streak; he has three goals and three assists for six points on the streak… The Monsters are 1-1-0-0 in April… The Monsters are 11-18-0-6 on the road… The Monsters are 1-2-0-0 against the Stars this season, and are 8-10-0-0 against the West Division… The Monsters were 0-3 on the power play Friday night, while Texas was 2-2 on the man-advantage.

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