Monsters Win Streak Comes to An End
The Lake Erie Monsters saw their franchise-high eight-game winning streak snap with a 3-2 loss to the Rockford IceHogs in front of 7,112 at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.
Despite the loss, the Monsters hold a record of 22-10-2-3 on home ice this season, while they are 40-26-3-5 overall.
The Monsters finish the month of March with a 9-2-0-0 record, with both losses coming against the IceHogs.
In the first period, the Monsters took a 1-0 lead when Julian Talbot turned an innocent-looking play into a goal at the 5:59 mark. After picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, Talbot entered Rockford territory on the left wing side and placed a shot over the glove of Hannu Toivonen. Luke Walker assisted for his second helper in his last two games, while Julien Brouillette also assisted.
The IceHogs evened the score when Garnet Exelby scored off a slap shot from the left circle at 16:23. Brandon Pirri and Rob Klinkhammer assisted.
After 20 minutes, the IceHogs carried a 12-4 lead in shots, while the score remained tied at 1-1.
Lake Erie regained its one-goal lead just 1:33 into the middle frame. After Justin Mercier tried a shot from the hash mark, Matt Ford buried the rebound from the top of the goal crease. Talbot also assisted for his third point (1G, 2A) in his last two games and ninth multi-point game of the season.
Rockford tied the game at 2-2 when Jeff Taffe scored a power play goal off assists from Klinkhammer and Ben Smith at 17:03.
The IceHogs outshot the Monsters by a 14-11 count in the second period.
In the third, Rockford snapped the 2-2 deadlock with Brian Connelly's slap from the top of the left circle at 4:57. Chris DiDomenico and Mathis Olimb assisted.
Connelly's goal stood as the game-winner, while the Monsters were unable to mount a comeback in the remainder of regulation.
Jason Bacashihua recorded 34 saves on 37 shots, marking his first loss in his last five starts.
At the other end, Toivonen denied 23 of 25 shots in the win.
The Monsters will return to North Division action on Friday when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars: 1. RFD Connelly (GW goal); 2. RFD Klinkhammer (2 assists); 3. LE Talbot (1G, 1A)
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