Texas Trip Ends As It Started, With A Win

Monsters vs Houston AerosPhoto by Houston Aeros

Scoresheet

Dean Strong extended his goal scoring streak to three games with a power play goal late in the third period- the eventual game-winner- helping the Lake Erie Monsters to a 3-2 win over the Aeros (18-13-3-3) at Toyota Center Saturday night. Karl Stollery and Paul Carey also scored for the Monsters, and rookie goalie Sami Aittokallio earned his 10th win of the season with 26 saves. Saturday completed three games in three nights for the Monsters, as the team won the first and third games on their trip to Texas.

Stollery opened the scoring for the Monsters on a wrist shot from the left side boards at 7:37 of the first period, with an assist going to Strong. The goal was the third of the season for Stollery.

Houston tied the game on the power play when Jason Zucker one-timed a Charlie Coyle pass on a back-door setup at 14:01 of the first period, putting the teams into a 1-1 tie after one period.

 Monsters vs AerosAfter a scoreless second period, Carey put the Monsters back on top by a goal when he picked up his own rebound for his sixth goal of the season, with assists to Gabriel Beaupre and Bill Thomas, at 9:08 of the third period.

With another power play, Houston tied the game on a Johan Larsson slap shot from the top of the right circle at 14:15 of the third period, leaving the game tied at 2-2.

Just 90 seconds later, Strong put the Monsters on top for good, firing a loose puck over the shoulder of Houston goalie Darcy Kuemper at 15:45 of the third period, with assists going to Markus Lauridsen and Thomas Pock. The goal was Strong's fourth of the season and came on the man advantage.

Aittokallio, seeing his first game action since December 28, stopped 26 of 28 shots in improving to 10-8-0 on the season in net for the Monsters. Kuemper is 5-4-0 after stopping 29 of 32 Monsters shots.

The Monsters will continue their current six-game road trip on Friday night in Hershey at 7:00 PM.

NOTES: The Monsters are 12-6-0-0 against the South Division this season, they complete a four-game sweep of the season series against the Aeros, and improve their overall road record on the season to 12-9-1-0... Strong has goals in three straight games, and five points over his last three contests... Carey has eight points over his last 10 games... The Monsters are 11-3-0-0 when Bill Thomas gets a point after his assist tonight... The Monsters are 8-4-1-0 over their last 13 games... The Monsters were 1-4 on the power play and 2-6 on the penalty kill.

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