Monsters Win in Shootout Thriller


Veteran Bill Thomas' goal with under four seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime, and rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard denied four of five shooters in a shootout to secure a 3-2 win for the Lake Erie Monsters (18-15-2-1) over the Hamilton Bulldogs (12-18-1-3) at Copps Coliseum Saturday night. The win capped three straight days of games for the Monsters, who recorded four of the possible six points on the weekend. The team has now won three of their last four games.

Rookie Paul Carey opened the scoring for the Monsters with 1:08 left in the first period when he crossed the Hamilton blue line and unleashed a wrist shot that deflected off Hamilton goalie Robert Mayer and trickled over the goal line. Carey's fourth goal of the season was assisted by fellow rookie Andrew Agozzino.

Midway through the second period, Hamilton tied the game on a Brendan Gallagher shot from the right circle at the 10:40 mark, making the score 1-1. The two teams would remain tied until more than halfway through the third period.

The Bulldogs took a lead in the final frame when Gallagher found Frederic St-Denis open on a two-on-one at 11:31 of the third period; The St-Denis goal made the score 2-1 in favor of Hamilton.

With just over three seconds remaining in regulation, Agozzino sent a puck to the net, and Thomas quickly made a move in front and tapped the puck over the goal line to tie the game and force overtime for the Monsters. Thomas' 11th goal was also assisted by Thomas Pock.

Overtime didn't yield a winner, but in the ensuing shootout, Stefan Elliott and Mark Olver each scored to give the Monsters a 2-1 edge in the shootout frame.

Pickard stopped 33 of 35 shots and is 9-8-1 on the season. Mayer stopped 35 of 37 shots in net for Hamilton, and is 7-7-3.

Saturday’s game started a string of six straight road games for the Monsters. Next up will be another three-in-three weekend next weekend in Texas.

NOTES: The Monsters are now 5-1 in shootouts this season... Mark Olver is 3-5 in shootouts this season, and Elliott is 1-1... Pickard has won three straight starts in net for the Monsters; the first Monsters goaltender to do so... Andrew Agozzino had two assists for his seventh multi-point game of the season... The Monsters were 0-5 on the power play and 6-6 on the penalty kill... The Monsters are 11-5-0-0 when Thomas Pock picks up a point, and 9-3-0-0 when Bill Thomas registers a point.









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