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Shootout Loss After Losing Early LeadTweet
On the strength of three unanswered goals, the Houston Aeros forced overtime and eventually won in a shootout over the Lake Erie Monsters (21-22-2-2) by a 5-4 score Saturday night in Houston. Justin Mercier scored twice for the Monsters, who led 4-1 late in the second period, but eventually saw the lead disappear. The Monsters finish the two-game weekend set in Texas with three of a possible four points following Houston's (23-11-3-9) comeback victory on Saturday.
David McIntyre cut the puck to the front of the goal and scored with a quick shot along the ice to beat Monsters goalie Gerald Coleman at 6:56 of the first period to open the scoring for the Aeros.
At 12:39 of the opening period, Greg Mauldin scored a power play goal for the Monsters to tie the game at 1-1 when he batted in the rebound from an Evan Brophey attempt for his ninth of the season. Patrick Rissmiller also assisted on the goal.
Just over a minute later, a misplayed puck from Houston defenseman Chay Genoway trickled into the Houston net; Justin Mercier was the last Monster to touch the puck, giving him credit for the goal. Mercier's ninth of the season came at 13:47 of the first period, unassisted.
With 1:29 left in the first period, Monsters defenseman Danny Richmond intercepted a pass at the Monsters blue line, and fired a pass of his own up the ice to spring Luke Walker on a breakaway. Walker faked to his backhand, and beat Houston goalie Matt Hackett for his eighth goal of the season to give Lake Erie the 3-1 lead to end the first period.
Mercier scored on a rebound, his 10th of the season, at 13:29 of the second period to give the Monsters a 4-1 lead. However, the goal would be the final puck that would cross the goal line behind Hackett all evening. Walker and Dean Strong assisted on Mercier's second goal of the night.
Houston had a five-on-three power play twice over the course of the evening, and on the second attempt, Genoway scored on a top-shelf wrist shot before the close of the second period to pull Houston to within a pair of goals, 4-2.
Houston's Jeff Taffe and Kris Foucault scored in the third to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime.
Overtime didn't yield a winner, but the only two goals in the ensuing shootout frame were scored by the Aeros. Justin Fontaine scored to begin the shootout, and C.J. Stretch scored to close the shootout, sealing the 5-4 shootout win for Houston.
Gerald Coleman is 4-2-1 after the shootout loss; he turned away 29 of 33 shots in the game. Matt Hackett is 14-8-4 with the win in net for Houston; the all-star goalie stopped 21 of 25 shots.
The Monsters return to action with a chance to climb back to .500 Wednesday night in Rockford. The puck drops at 8:05 PM Eastern, and all the action can be heard live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
NOTES: Luke Walker has goals in three straight games dating back to 1/28/12; the Monsters are 6-2-0-0 when he scores... The Monsters power play converted once on three tries against Houston; the club has seven power play goals in its last 32 power play chances... The Monsters have now registered 30 shots on net three times over their last 17 games... The Monsters fall to 3-8-0-1 against the West Division... Stefan Elliott, a rookie defenseman, returned to the Monsters lineup Saturday after a 30-game stretch with the parent club, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche; Elliott picked up 11 points in his 30 NHL games... Elliott played the first 18 games this season for the Monsters prior to his first NHL call-up... Danny Richmond followed the goal in his Monsters debut Friday night in San Antonio with an assist against Houston; he has two points in two games since joining the club.
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