By Sarah Jamieson, Special to WFNY
Left wing Bryan Lerg netted his team-leading fifth goal of the season, but it would not be enough to lift the Lake Erie Monsters (3-4-0-0) over the Abbotsford Heat (4-3-0-1) on Friday night. The Monsters fell in Abbotsford by a 4-2 score, ending their win streak at two games. It also ended goaltender Sami Aittokallio’s bid for a third consecutive win in net. Twenty-two-year old Joey Hishon also scored for Lake Erie, while Andrew Agozzino registered two assists.
Abbotsford took a 1-0 lead on a Ben Street goal at 14:44 of the first period. Street was denied on two spectacular saves from Aittokallio, but was able to poke in his own rebound, with an assist going to Max Reinhart. Aittokallio made 14 saves in the first period on 15 Abbotsford shots.
With the Monsters on a power play to begin the second period, Agozzino spotted Hishon open in the neutral zone, connected on a pass, and Hishon converted a backhand shot on the breakaway to tie the game at 1-1 at 1:09 of the second period. The goal was the first of the season for Hishon.
Abbotsford regained a one-goal lead at 5:25 of the second period after a scrum in front of the Monsters net. Ben Hanowski’s shot was tipped out of the air by Carter Bancks, who was credited with the goal for the Heat.
Corban Knight scored from the front of the Monsters net to grab a 3-1 lead for the Heat at 15:54 of the second period when he flipped a backhand shot past Aittokallio. Abbotsford took their 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Lerg scored for the Monsters to cut the deficit to 3-2 with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Abbotsford’s Reto Berra top-shelf at 1:01 of the third period. The goal was the team-leading fifth of the season for Lerg, and was assisted by Agozzino and Mike Sgarbossa.
Chad Billins extended Abbotsford’s lead to 4-2 with a blast from the center of the Monsters blue line on a Heat power play at 6:53 of the period; the goal marked the final tally of the hockey game.
Aittokallio stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss; he is 2-2-0 on the season. Berra stopped 22 of 24 shots; he is 4-2-1 for Abbotsford.
The Monsters and Heat are back on the ice Saturday in Abbotsford at 10:00 PM Eastern, and all the action can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW.
NOTES: Agozzino’s two assists give him five helpers and six points over his last four games… Hishon has two points on a goal and an assist in two games for the Monsters this season… Stefan Elliott led the way for the Monsters with six shots on goal in the game… The Monsters were 1-5 on the power play, and now have eight power play goals in seven games this season… The Monsters were 3-4 on the penalty kill… The Monsters are 1-2-0-0 against Abbotsford this season, and will conclude the season series with the Heat on Saturday.