Lake Erie Monsters, hockey, Metromix, contests
Rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard earned his second straight shutout in net for the Lake Erie Monsters (4-1-0-0), who topped the Texas Stars (2-3-0-0) 4-0 Sunday evening at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. It was the team's third straight win. Michael Sgarbossa netted the eventual game-winner; his first professional tally. Also scoring for the Monsters were Bill Thomas, Brad Malone, and Bryan Lerg.
After a scoreless first period, Sgarbossa opened the game's scoring when he tapped a puck through the legs of Texas goalie Christopher Nilstorp at 2:34 of the second period with assists from Patrick Bordeleau and Geoff Walker.
Thomas extended the Monsters lead when he carried a puck up the right side and fired a quick wrist shot short-side on Nilstorp, making the score 2-0 at 4:08 of the second. Mark Olver and Karl Stollery assisted.
Malone netted a snapshot off the crossbar and into the Stars net on the power play at 11:10 of the second period, giving the Monsters a 3-0 lead. Malone's goal from the right circle was assisted by Olver and Thomas Pock.
Lerg's first goal as a Monster came after a feed in front of the net; Lerg delayed, and fired the puck top-shelf after Stars goalie Jack Campbell committed to Lerg's initial maneuver. Lerg's marker at 1:20 of the third was assisted by Andrew Agozzino and Luke Walker.
Pickard stopped 25 shots in his second straight shutout of the season; he is now 2-1-0 on the season. Nilstorp stopped 10 of 13 Monsters shots over the first two periods, and falls to 1-2-0. Campbell played the third period in net for Texas, and stopped nine of 10 shots.
The Monsters finish their string of four straight road games Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, with the faceoff scheduled for 8:00 PM Eastern. The Monsters return home to entertain the Abbotsford Heat at Quicken Loans Arena Friday and Saturday nights, with both games beginning at 7:30 PM.
NOTES: Over his last two starts, Pickard has turned away 65 of 65 shots against for his first two professional shutouts... Pickard has not allowed a goal since the 16:26 mark of the third period on October 13; a streak of 123:34 of shutout goaltending... The Cedar Park Center was the site of Pickard's first professional start and victory in net last season on 4/1/12; an 8-4 Monsters victory over the Stars... The Monsters were 1-1 on the power play on Sunday, and are now 4-5 on the man-advantage over their last two games... The Monsters were 2-2 on the penalty kill, and are off to a 29-30 start to the season on the penalty kill... Luke Walker has a three-game point streak... Thomas Pock has a four-game point streak, and the Monsters are now 4-0-0-0 when the defenseman earns a point... Tyson Barrie's three-game goal and point streak snapped Sunday evening... Mark Olver, with two assists, now has six points over his last four games.
Lake Erie Monsters