Third Period Letdown Leads to Loss

 
Lake Erie carried a 1-0 lead into the third period of Sunday's matinee with Peoria, but the Rivermen struck three times in the final frame to hand the Monsters a 3-1 loss at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Monsters have won five of their last seven games, holding a record of 21-21-3-4 overall and 12-7-2-2 on home ice.

Lake Erie took a 1-0 lead off a power play goal with just 28 seconds remaining in the opening period. From below the goal line on the right side of the net, Justin Mercier attempted a centering pass that deflected off a Peoria defenseman and into the cage. David van der Gulik assisted for his third point (2G, 1A) in as many games, while Ben Walter also recorded a helper for his team-leading 21st assist and 34th point.

The Monsters took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, outshooting the Rivermen by a 16-7 count in the frame.

In a scoreless second period, Peoria totaled 13 shots to Lake Erie’s eight.

The Monsters entered the third period with a 1-0 lead, but the Rivermen tied the game at a goal apiece by scoring 2:36 into the period. Anthony Nigro converted on a wraparound from the right side of the net, taking assists from Ryan Reaves and Tyler Shattock.

Just 1:21 later, Peoria took a 2-1 lead off Chris Porter’s power play goal. From the right hash mark, Porter took a backhand shot that tipped off the right leg pad of Jason Bacashihua, before trickling across the goal line. Nicholas Drazenovic and former Monster T.J. Hensick assisted.

At 9:33 of the period, the Rivermen built a 3-1 lead. Drazenovic took a pass from Porter, went in on a quick breakaway and used a forehand-backhand move to give Peoria an insurance goal. Dave Spina also assisted.

Peoria’s third goal finalized its 3-1 win, as the Rivermen outshot the Monsters 9-6 in the third period.

Bacashihua, who made his first start since January 12th, stopped 26 of 29 shots faced.

Ben Bishop went 29-for-30 in the win for Peoria.

The Monsters will continue their stretch of playing 12 of 13 games at home when they host the Toronto Marlies at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Three Stars: 1. PEO Drazenovic (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. PEO Porter (GW goal, 1 assist); 3. PEO Bishop (29 saves)

 
David Quinn Postgame Interview
 
Justin Mercier Postgame Interview


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