Comeback Attempt Ends in Shootout Loss

For the second time in as many games, the Lake Erie Monsters ended regulation in a tie before falling in dramatic fashion. On Sunday, Lake Erie surrendered a 4-3 seven-round shootout decision to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Quicken Loans Arena.

Despite the loss, the Monsters (5-5-1-2) picked up two of a possible four points in two home games this weekend (0-0-1-1), including Friday’s 6-5 overtime loss to Chicago. So far this season, Lake Erie has posted a 1-2 record in shootouts.

After a scoreless first period, Grand Rapids (7-3-0-2) took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal in the second period. From the right point, defenseman Logan Pyett placed a slap shot in the bottom left corner of the net at 1:51. Pyett was assisted by Chris Minard and Tomas Tatar.

The Monsters answered just 1:21 later when Curtis Fraser buried Zach Cohen’s rebound for his first goal of the season.

Before the middle frame expired, Grand Rapids went up 2-1 with Francis Pare’s third goal of the season at the 18:02 mark. Pare was assisted by Jamie Tardif. Early in the third period, the Griffins pushed their lead to two goals when Minard scored his first of the season at 1:32. Minard picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and went in to snap a shot into the top left corner, making the score 3-1.

Lake Erie then cut its deficit in half at 10:39 of the third period. Cohen took a pass from Patrick Bordeleau and tried a shot from the right side of the net, before Fraser tapped home the rebound for his second goal of the game. By picking up an assist on the goal, Bordeleau notched his first point of the season, and Cohen’s assist marked his first multi-point game of the season. With an assist on Friday night against Chicago, and his first two goals of the season in Sunday’s contest against Grand Rapids, Fraser has recorded three points in his last two games.

With just 3:31 remaining in regulation, the Monsters tied the game at 3-3 when Joel

Chouinard unleashed a rocket from the top of the left circle. Chouinard’s goal marks his sixth point (2G, 4A) in five games played with Lake Erie this season, and he was assisted by Mark Olver and Ryan Stoa. Stoa’s assist marks his third point in two games, as he notched a goal and a assist on Friday. The score remained tied at the end of the regulation, sending the Monsters to overtime for their second consecutive game. At :52 of the extra session, Justin Mercier was awarded a penalty shot after he was pulled down from behind on a breakaway. In his penalty shot, Mercier nearly put the game away, but his wrist shot deflected off the left goalpost.

A scoreless overtime set up a dramatic seven-round shootout in which two of the first three shooters from each team scored. Olver and Stoa scored in rounds one and two, respectively, for Lake Erie, while Ilari Filppula scored in the first round and Jan Mursak scored in the third round for Grand Rapids. Both goaltenders stood strong to force two extra rounds, and in the seventh, Tatar scored to give Grand Rapids in win.

Jason Bacashihua made 18 saves on 21 shots for the Monsters, along with four of seven shots in the shootout. Jordan Pearce recorded 37 saves on 40 shots and went five-for-seven in the shootout for the Griffins victory.

Lake Erie will continue their eight-game home stand on Wednesday, when the host the Hamilton Bulldogs for a 10:45 a.m. faceoff at Quicken Loans Arena.

Three Stars 1. Tatar (1 goal, shootout goal); 2.Pearce (37 saves); 3.Fraser (2 goals)

 
David Quinn Postgame Interview
 
Curtis Fraser Postgame Interview

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