Monsters Get Comeback Win Over Rockford

Four unanswered goals erased a three-goal deficit as the Lake Erie Monsters (36-28-3-7) earned a thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Rockford IceHogs (34-31-2-6) before a crowd of 9,422 at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday. Four different Monsters scored in the game, with three of the goals coming in the third period. The Monsters have now won three consecutive games.

After a scoreless first period, Rockford started the scoring at 3:44 of the second period when Jeremy Morin received a backdoor pass and one-timed the puck into the Monsters net with the IceHogs on the power play. Ryan Stanton and Peter LeBlanc added even strength goals in the period for Rockford, prompting Monsters head coach David Quinn to use his team’s timeout while trailing 3-0 late in the second period.

Before the period could expire, David van der Gulik picked up his own rebound in front of the Rockford net, and put the Monsters on the board with his 11th goal of the season at 17:57 of the second period. The goal was set up from some swift puck movement, as assists were credited to Patrick Rissmiller and Mike Connolly, sending the Monsters to the intermission down 3-1.

Justin Mercier ripped a wrist shot from the high-slot at 3:54 of the third period with the Monsters shorthanded, and the puck sailed past Rockford goalie Carter Hutton to bring the Monsters to within a goal. The goal was Mercier’s 14th of the season, and he is now second all-time on the Monsters shorthanded goals list with four in his career with the team. Barry Goers assisted on Mercier’s shorthanded goal.

Following the rebound from a Karl Stollery point shot, Ryan Stoa found Brad Malone open near the bottom of the right circle, and Malone immediately slapped the puck home for his 11th game of the season, tying the game at 3-3 at the 12:30 mark of the third period.

Just under two minutes later, again following a Stollery point shot, Evan Brophey found Dean Strong open at the side of the net with a brilliant backhand pass across the front of the Rockford goal, and Strong hammered the puck over the goal line for his fourth goal of the season to give the Monsters a 4-3 lead at 14:29 of the third. The Monsters held on for the 4-3 win.

Cedrick Desjardins is now 15-10-5 with the win; he stopped 21 of 24 shots in the Monsters net. Hutton suffers the loss, and his record falls to 22-11-5; he stopped 25 of 29 shots.

The Monsters have just two remaining games in the regular season, both at home: next Friday vs. Hamilton and next Saturday vs. Rochester.

NOTES: The Monsters swept the four-game season series against Rockford with Saturday’s win… The Monsters were 3-7 on the power play Saturday after entering the game having converted on three of their last 30 power plays over their nine previous games… The game was the 42nd one-goal game of the season for the Monsters, which adds to the team record; the Monsters are 23-9-3-7 in one-goal games… The Monsters were 3-4 on the penalty kill, and they’re now 39-46 on the penalty kill over their last 10 games… Brad Malone has goals in back-to-back games, and has three goals and three assists in four games against Rockford this season, including the game-winning tallies on 2/8/12 and 3/6/12… With an assist Saturday, Ryan Stoa finishes the season series with three goals and two assists in four games against Rockford; the Monsters are now 17-4-1-2 when Stoa picks up at least one point… With a pair of assists, defenseman Karl Stollery had the first multi-point game of his professional career…The Monsters improve to 19-12-2-3 on home ice this season, and have now won back-to-back home games after a five-game winless streak at Quicken Loans Arena.

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