By Sarah Jamieson, Special to WFNY
Despite Mark Olver’s game-tying goal midway through the second period, the Lake Erie Monsters (1-2-0-0) were unable to score again against the Toronto Marlies (2-0-0-0) on Sunday afternoon, as The Marlies topped the Monsters 5-1 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. The game concluded a three-games-in-three-nights run for the Monsters to open the season.
The Monsters and Marlies battled to a scoreless first period, as Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard stopped all 11 shots he saw in the game’s opening frame.
The penalty kill unit of the Monsters was put to the test early in the second period, as Toronto had 23 seconds of five-on-three power play time to start the middle frame. The Monsters killed off the Toronto power play early in the second, but Toronto’s Tyler Biggs broke the scoreless tie at 3:22 of the second period with a shorthanded goal, giving the Marlies a 1-0 lead.
Olver carried the puck into the offensive zone with the Monsters on another power play at 16:25 of the second period, made a move against Toronto goalie Drew MacIntyre, and the puck rolled off his stick and over the goal line, tying the game at 1-1. Mike Sgarbossa and Colin Smith assisted on Olver’s first goal of the season. Olver’s goal gives the Monsters a power play goal in each game so far this year.
With 2:01 left in the second period, Trevor Smith fired a shot on a power play from the left circle that fluttered through the air and found its way into the Monsters net, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead that held through the end of the frame.
Early in the third period, Spencer Abbott floated a saucer pass on a two-on-one Toronto rush to Smith, who scored his second of the game to give the Marlies a 3-1 lead at the 1:21 mark.
Toronto netted a pair of empty-net goals late in the game; one from T.J. Brennan and another from Greg McKegg, which gave the Marlies a 5-1 advantage.
Pickard is now 1-1-0 in net for the Monsters after stopping 28 of 31 shots. MacIntyre is 2-0-0 in net for Toronto after stopping 19 of 20 shots.
The Monsters will return home to host Rockford in a back-to-back Friday and Saturday.
NOTES: The Monsters will meet Toronto eight times this season, and were 4-4-0-0 against the Marlies last season… Colin Smith’s assist was his first professional point… The Monsters have four power play goals in three games this season, and have netted at least one power play goal in each game… The Monsters were 7-8 on the penalty kill after going 8-8 on the penalty kill on Saturday.
(Photos courtesy: TSGPhoto.com)