By Doug Plagens, Special to WFNY
Center Garrett Meurs’ goal with just over five minutes remaining in the third period was the eventual game-winning goal, as the Lake Erie Monsters (9-7-0-1) topped the Oklahoma City Barons (8-8-0-1) by a 5-3 score Fridaynight at Quicken Loans Arena before a crowd of 8,770. Meurs had an assist to go along with his goal, while Joey Hishon had a goal and two assists. Andrew Agozzino scored a pair of goals, and Stefan Elliott also scored a goal for the Monsters, who play their next three games on the road.
Agozzino took a pass from Bryan Lerg in front of the net with the Monsters on a power play, and quickly fired the puck past Oklahoma City goalie Laurent Brossoit at 4:53 of the opening period. Colin Smith also assisted on the goal, which gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead. The goal was the third of the season for Agozzino.
The Monsters took a 2-0 lead when Hishon spotted Elliott open at the point. Elliott took the pass, found a lane into the high slot, and snapped a shot by Brossoit for his fourth goal of the season at10:19 of the first period.
Oklahoma City scored two goals in a 1:17 span midway through the second period to tie the game at 2-2, as Anton Lander and Brad Hunt accounted for the goals. The Monsters, however, answered before the period came to a close.
Hishon took a pass in front of the Barons net on a rush up the ice, and redirected the puck into the net to give the Monsters a 3-2 lead. Garrett Meurs assisted, spotting Hishon open in front of the net. Mitchell Heard also assisted on the goal at 16:59 of the second period; Hishon’s third of the season.
At 8:20 of the third period, Lander tied the game at 3-3 for Oklahoma City on a backhand from point-blank range, but the Monsters were able to answer again. Hishon slipped a puck down the right wing in the offensive end to Meurs, who cut to the front of the net and flipped a backhand top-shelf for the eventual game-winner. The goal was the second of the season for Meurs, and was scored at the third period’s 14:42 mark.
Aggozino added an empty-net goal with 1.8 seconds remaining to give the Monsters a 5-3 lead. The goal was Agozzino’s second of the game, and fourth of the season; Mark Olver and Lerg assisted on the goal.
Sami Aittokallio stopped 25 of 28 shots in the win in net for the Monsters; he is 4-2-0. Brossoit stopped 18 of 22 in the Barons loss; he is 1-2-0.
The Monsters are back on the ice in Utica Tuesday at 7:00 PM, with all the action airing live on AM 1420 WHK.
NOTES: The Monsters are 1-1-0-0 against the Barons this season, and 6-5-0-1 at home… Karl Stollery was plus-one in the game, and is plus-seven on the season… Hishon led the Monsters Fridaywith a plus-three rating… Lerg’s two assists give him eight assists and a team-leading 16 points through 17 games this season… Olver’s assist gives him a team-leading 11 helpers on the season… The Monsters were 2-7 on the power play, and 3-4 on the penalty kill.
(Image via John Saraya/LEM)