Monsters Blank Buffalo 4-0

Calvin Pickard stopped 17 shots for his third shutout of the season on Saturday as the Lake Erie Monsters (16-14-2-1) rode three third-period goals to a 4-0 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs (11-16-1-2) before a crowd of 11,097 at Quicken Loans Arena.  All four Lake Erie goals on the night were scored on Bulldog goalie Cedrick Desjardins, who played for the Monsters last season.  The shutout win comes 24 hours after a 4-1 Monsters loss on the road to Rochester.  Stefan Elliott scored the Monsters first two goals on Saturday, with Mark Olver and Bill Thomas also scoring in the win.  Brad Malone picked up a pair of assists for Lake Erie, who has now won four consecutive home games.

Elliott scored the game's first goal at 18:23 of the first period, picking up a loose puck in the left circle and slipping it under Desjardins on the power play for his second goal of the season, assisted by Patrick Bordeleau and Mike Connolly.

The score would remain 1-0 in favor of the Monsters until early in the third period, when Lake Erie would score twice in the span of 18 seconds.

Malone sped up the right wing, and as he was hit, dished a pass to Elliott in the right circle, who wasted no time wristing a shot past Desjardins' stick and into the Hamilton net.  It was his second goal of the game and third of the season at 5:13 of the middle frame, giving the Monsters a 2-0 lead.

A mere 18 seconds later, Olver collected a rebound, and patiently waited for a chance to lift the puck over Desjardins to stretch the Monsters lead to 3-0.  Olver's goal was his sixth of the season, assisted by Jamie MacQueen and Bill Thomas.

Thomas netted a rebound for a power play goal at 8:24 of the third period, assisted by Malone and Tyson Barrie.  Thomas' goal was his 10th of the season, and ultimately ended the evening for Desjardins, who was relieved by Robert Mayer in the Hamilton net.

Pickard turned aside all 17 shots sent his way and is now 7-8-1 on the season.  Desjardins is 5-8-0 after the loss; he stopped 37 of 41.  Mayer stopped all six shots he faced in 11:26 of relief work in net for Hamilton.

The Monsters will next play a back-to-back at The Q next week (Thursday/Friday, January 3rd/4th) against Charlotte.

NOTES: The Monsters 47 shots on net on Saturday are a new season-high; their previous high for 2012-13 was 39, a plateau they reached on four previous occasions this season… With two assists, Brad Malone has two multi-point games this season; he also had two assists on 11/3/12 in Rockford… Thomas has two goals and two assists in three games against Hamilton this season… Since the start of last season, the Monsters are 9-2-0-0 against Hamilton… Andrew Agozzino's seven-game point streak and David van der Gulik's six-game point streak were snapped in the win… The Monsters were 2-7 on the power play, and are now 3-3-0-1 this season when scoring two or more power play goals in a game... Mitchell Heard, Bordeleau, and Connolly were assessed fighting majors in the third period.