Game and Playoff Hopes Both Lost

Photos courtesy of www.sieversphoto.com
Three straight goals from Peoria late in the game cost the Monsters not only the contest itself, but also a chance for the playoffs.  Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Rivermen, combined with Manitoba's shootout loss in Toronto earlier in the day, officially eliminated Lake Erie from the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs.  Brian Willsie and Travis Gawryletz scored for the Monsters and John Grahame gave up three goals on 22 shots faced. 

Lake Erie struck first, as Willsie found the back of the net at 12:58 of the first period.  T.J. Hensick assisted, putting the Monsters up 1-0.  Willsie has recorded points in eight of the past 10 games, while Hensick has now posted a point in nine of the last 11.

More than 22 minutes passed without a change in score, until Chris Porter lit the lamp at 15:34 of the second.  The shorthanded goal was assisted by Tyson Strachan and tied the score at one goal apiece. 

Nate Guenin put the host Rivermen ahead 2-1 with his goal just 2:23 into the third period.  Mitch Love and Pascal Rheaume were given the assists.

Peoria would score their third straight goal at 15:27 on the power play.  Derek Armstrong scored on the man advantage, helped by Jonas Junland and Pascal Pelletier.

Down but not out, the Monsters responded quickly, cutting the deficit to one with Gawryletz's goal at 16:59.  Phil Dupuis assisted.

With Grahame pulled in favor of an extra Lake Erie attacker, the Rivermen iced the game with an empty-netter with 40 seconds remaining, sealing the 4-2 win. 

The Monsters will return home on Wednesday to host the Abbotsford Heat.

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