Calvin Pickard recorded his first professional shutout as the Lake Erie Monsters (2-1-0-0) topped the defending Western Conference Champion Toronto Marlies (1-1-0-0) by a 4-0 score at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto Sunday afternoon. It was the first road game for the Monsters and the final contest in Lake Erie's three-games-in-three-days season opening weekend. Four different goal scorers chipped in for the Monsters, and the team was a perfect 12-for-12 on the penalty kill in the contest.
Geoff Walker took a feed in front from Paul Carey and scored his first goal of the season and as a Monsters at 8:23 of the opening period to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead. Michael Sgarbossa also assisted on the goal, his first professional assist and point.
Thomas Pock fed a puck across the blue line to Tyson Barrie later in the period, and Barrie proceeded to cruise through the slot and place a backhand shot to the top shelf of the net at 15:54 to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead. Also assisting on the goal was Mark Olver.
Pock got in on the scoring as well when he fired a slapshot from the center of the Marlies blue line at 1:34 of the second period for a power play goal to extend the Monsters lead to 3-0. The goal was his first of the season and first as a Monster. Sgarbossa and Carey assisted on the goal.
Luke Walker scored an empty-net goal to make it 4-0 Monsters with 6:48 remaining in the third period. Andrew Agozzino and Pock assisted on Walker's goal, which came in his first game played of the season.
Lake Erie rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard (1-1-0) stopped all 40 shots he faced in his first pro shutout and first win of the season. Ben Scrivens stopped 14 of 17 shots against him in the Toronto net, and his personal record is now 1-1-0.
The Monsters return to action Saturday night in Oklahoma City, with all the action beginning at 8:00 PM. Catch the game live on AM 1420 WHK.
NOTES: The Monsters are 25/26 on the penalty kill to start the season... The Monsters two opponents over the opening weekend, Oklahoma City and Toronto, represented the Western Conference in the Conference Final this past Spring... The multi-point games for Sgarbossa and Carey were the first of their professional careers... Pickard's shutout came a day after stopping 29 of 32 shots in his first professional defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City... Thomas Pock became the first Monster this season to record a three-point game... The Monsters were 1/2 on the power play today... The game was the first road game of the season for the Monsters, and begins a string of four straight road games for the club... The Monsters were 4-4-0-2 against Toronto last season, and will meet the Marlies eight times this season overall.