Monsters Take Three-Game Win Streak into Holiday Break
Jamie MacQueen's first American Hockey League goal in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Lake Erie Monsters (15-13-1-1) topped the Houston Aeros (14-10-1-3) for their third straight win before a crowd of 8,468 at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night. All three victories on the Monsters current streak have come at home. The team will ride their three-game win streak into their holiday break, as the team will not play again until the 26th. With goals in the game, Andrew Agozzino and Mike Sgarbossa extended their point streaks to five games, tying the longest such streak for the Monsters this season.
Sgarbossa received a centering pass off the rush from Tyson Barrie and tapped the puck past Houston goalie Matt Hackett for the game's first goal at 2:33 of the opening period to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead. Thomas Pock also assisted on the goal; Sgarbossa's team-leading 12th tally of the season.
After Houston's Nick Palmieri tied the game at 1-1 at 11:30 of the first period, Agozzino received a pass in the open from Paul Carey, and Agozzino streaked to the front of the goal, firing a wrist shot stick-side to beat Hackett and put the Monsters on top 2-1. David van der Gulik assisted on the goal, which was Agozzino's 11th of the season.
Before the first period ended, Charlie Coyle netted his 10th of the season on a one-timer from the front of the Monsters net to tie the game at 2-2.
The only tally of the second period began when Mike Embach, who joined the Monsters from the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones on a professional tryout contract earlier in the day, sent a puck up the right side to Barrie in the neutral zone. Barrie took the puck up the right wing into the circle, and spotted MacQueen in the slot. MacQueen wristed a puck by Hackett for his first AHL goal at 3:57 of the frame.
The two goals in the third period were Monsters empty-netters in the game's final minute. At 19:17, van der Gulik's attempt ricocheted wide of the net, and a bouncing puck in front deflected off an Aero's skate and into the net, giving van der Gulik credit for the goal. van der Gulik's goal was his eighth of the season, giving him tallies in four straight games. His four-game goal streak is the longest such streak for a Monsters player this season.
Carey finished the scoring for the Monsters after he was set up in front of the vacated Houston net on an Agozzino centering feed. Stefan Elliott also assisted on the goal; Carey's third of the season.
Rookie Sami Aittokallio stopped 28 of 30 in net for the Monsters; he improves to 9-7-0-0. Hackett stopped 23 of 26; he is 11-8-3.
The Monsters will be off for the holiday and will return to action on Wednesday, December 26th in Rochester, with the game beginning at 7:05 PM, and airing live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
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