Colin Stuart's goal with 2:18 left in regulation handed the Lake Erie Monsters (5-6-0-0) a 3-2 loss to the Utica Comets (1-8-1-1) before a crowd of 9,745 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mikael Tam scored his first American Hockey League goal, while Bryan Lerg scored his team-leading seventh goal for the Monsters in the defeat. The Monsters concluded the two-game set against Utica with a split after topping the Comets 4-0 a night earlier.
Tam sent a shot through traffic from the top of the left circle that beat Utica goalie Joacim Eriksson at 6:58 of the first period to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead. Paul Carey and Brad Malone assisted on the goal.
Utica answered with a pair, however. Alex Mallet tapped in a rebound at 16:17 of the opening period to tie the game for the Comets, and shortly thereafter at 17:44, Patrick Mullen scored a power play goal from the side of the net to give the Comets a 2-1 lead.
Lerg tied the game for the Monsters at 8:25 of the second period when he sent a wrist shot from the slot toward the goal that deflected in the air and off the crossbar, with the puck ultimately bouncing over the goal line for his team-leading seventh goal. The play went under video review, but was ruled a goal, and was assisted by Andrew Agozzino.
The game remained tied into the final three minutes, when Utica broke the tie for good. Stuart fired a shot from the left circle and into the net at the 17:42 mark to secure Utica's first AHL victory.
Calvin Pickard stopped 25 of 28 shots for the Monsters, and his record falls to 3-4-0-0. Eriksson is 1-6-1 with the win in net; he stopped 22 of 24 shots.
NOTES: With an assist, Paul Carey has four assists over his last three games… Bryan Lerg has not gone consecutive games without a goal this season… Andrew Agozzino, with an assist, has five points over his last five games, and nine points over his last eight games… The Monsters are 1-1-0-0 against Utica this season, and 4-4-0-0 at home… The Monsters were 0-2 on the power play, and failed to score on the power play for just the second time in 11 games this season… The Monsters were 4-5 on the penalty kill, and were 9-10 on the penalty kill over the two games against Utica this week.