After a late scare, monsters hold on for shootout win. Brad Malone scored twice in regulation and Sami Aittokallio preserved a shootout victory in net for the Lake Erie Monsters (3-3-0-0) with a 3-2 score over the Hamilton Bulldogs (1-0-0-2), before a crowd of 7,897 at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night. Lake Erie led 2-0 early in the third period, before Hamilton tied it up and eventually forced overtime and a shootout. With his two goals on the night, Malone is tied for the Monsters team lead with four on the season. With the shootout victory, Aittokallio has won back-to-back starts in goal. Joey Hishon scored the winner in the shootout, and also picked up an assist during regulation, in his season debut for Lake Erie.
Malone gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead on the power play with 1:45 left in the opening period when his centering pass from the right wing corner deflected off Hamilton goalie Dustin Tokarski, then off the Hamilton defenseman in front of the net, and into the net; it was his third goal of the season. Karl Stollery and Hishon were credited with the assists.
In the second period, Malone cruised up the right wing, and from the circle, slipped a wrist shot to the far side of the net for a shorthanded goal, giving the Monsters a 2-0 lead at 7:02 of the frame.
Nick Tarnasky scored twice in the third period for Hamilton in the first 8:18 of the stanza to tie the game at 2-2. His second goal, scored at 8:18 of the period, was a power play goal.
In the final half of the third period, the Monsters penalty kill unit stood tall, killing off a five-minute Hamilton power play. Ultimately, overtime was required, and after a scoreless five-minute sudden-death period, the Monsters saw themselves in a shootout for the first time this season.
Aittokallio denied all three Bulldogs shooters in the shootout, while Mike Sgarbossa, Bryan Lerg, and Hishon scored to secure the two points for the Monsters.
Aittokallio stopped 23 of 25 shots, and his record is now 2-1-0 on the season. Tokarski stopped 24 of 26 shots; he is now 1-0-1.
The Monsters will next go on the road for a back-to-back in Abbotsford next weekend. They will return home on November 1st.
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