Andrew Agozzino's goal with 32.4 seconds left capped off a three-goal third period and lifted the Lake Erie Monsters (24-19-4-3) to a 3-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs (29-18-4-2) Friday before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 9,395. Michael Schumacher scored the first two goals for the Monsters, with each tally coming in the third period. Joey Hishon chipped in a pair of assists for the Monsters, who kicked off their eight-game homestand on a high note, winning for the second straight game. The Monsters meet Rockford again Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at The Q.
Kirill Gotovets scored his first American Hockey League goal at 13:51 of the second period. Gotovets trailed the play into the Monsters zone, and Peter Regin centered a backhand pass to Gotovets, who quickly sent a high shot past Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard. Rockford led 1-0 through two periods despite the Monsters leading the shots on goal by a 29-10 margin.
The Monsters scored three times in the third period, with the first of their three goals coming just 1:12 into the frame. Michael Schumacher collected a rebound and snapped the puck past Rockford goalie Scott Darling from in front of the net for his seventh goal of the season. Joey Hishon assisted on the goal, which gave Schumacher tallies in two straight games.
Just over five minutes later at the 5:16 mark of the third period, Schumacher cashed in with the Monsters on a power play. Hishon snapped a pass to Schumacher on the inside edge of the right circle, and Schumacher sent the puck home for his eighth goal of the season and second of the game, giving the Monsters their first lead of the game at 2-1. Andrew Agozzino also assisted on the tally.
With the Monsters pressuring in the final minute, Mitchell Heard put a puck toward the net, and Agozzino grabbed a loose puck and sent it past the glove side of Darling to make the score 3-2 and give the Monsters the lead for good. Troy Bourke also assisted on the game-winning goal.
Calvin Pickard won for the third straight start, stopping 14 of 16 shots to improve to 14-8-4. Pickard's win was his 51st in a Monsters uniform, tying him for the Monsters all-time wins record with former Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman. Scott Darling stopped 35 of 38 Monsters shots in the Rockford net; Darling is 13-8-2 on the campaign.
The Monsters and IceHogs meet again Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Saturday's game airs live on AM 1420 ‘The Answer' and can be seen live on MY 43 WUAB.
NOTES: The Monsters are 13-9-0-2 at home this season, and are 3-2-1-0 against the IceHogs… The Monsters are 10-4-2-0 since January 10th… Pickard is now the all-time leader in games played by a Monsters goalie with 119; he passed Weiman, who played 118 games in net for the Monsters… Agozzino now has 128 points in a Monsters uniform; three behind all-time Monsters point leader T.J. Hensick , who amassed 131 points in a Monsters uniform… The Monsters were 3-3 on the penalty kill, and they are now 32-33 on the penalty kill over their last 10 games… The Monsters were 2-5 on the power play, and they are 3-10 on the power play over their last two games…