Monsters Knock Off 1st-Placed Team

Photos courtesy of Hamilton Bulldogs
On Wednesday night, the Lake Erie Monsters faced and defeated the Toronto Marlies, the team they were tied with for third place in the North Division. On Thursday night, the Monsters were in Hamilton to face the top team in the North. Mark Olver's team-leading 19th goal and John Grahame's continued strong play in net led Lake Erie to a 2-1 win and into sole possession of third place (23-21-3-4).

Lake Erie used a 7-4 shot advantage in the first period to take an early lead after Justin Mercier's unassisted goal at 16:34. It was the second goal in the last three games for Mercier.

The opening frame ended with the Monsters ahead 1-0.

It would be more than midway through the second before the score would change again. Hamilton outshot Lake Erie 8-5 in the middle period and capitalized at 11:44 on a Gabriel Dumont goal. Dany Masse and Hunter Bishop assisted, tying the game heading into the second intermission.

On the same day he was announced as an addition to the AHL All-Star Classic, replacing teammate Ryan Stoa, Olver continued his recent success. The first-year forward netted the game-winning goal 9:25 into the third period, assisted by Joel Chouinard and Kevin Montgomery.

Aside from leading the Monsters in goals, Olver is also second on the team in points (30). He is also second among all AHL rookies in goals and sixth in points. Olver has recorded points in seven of the past nine games (8g, 1a).

Despite being outshot 14-8 in the final 20 minutes, Lake Erie kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard, resulting in the 2-1 Monsters win.

Grahame finished the night with 25 saves on 26 shots. He has started eight of the past nine Monsters games, winning seven.

Curtis Sanford had 18 saves on 20 shots in the Hamilton loss.

The two teams will meet again in Cleveland on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.


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