Robert Mayer made the most of his back to back starts this weekend. He stopped 70 of the 74 shots he faced, and even added an assist. Last night the Bulldogs didn't get the win, but they came painfully close. They had the lead with a mere 10 seconds left in the third, but couldn't hold it.
The Bulldogs came out the gate with a good pace, even after killing an early Zack Stortini penalty the Bulldogs were outshooting the Lake Erie Monsters 9-2 in the first ten minutes. In the second half of the period, the Bulldogs let up and the Monsters started putting on pressure, and found a way to solve Robert Mayer. At the 18:52 mark, Paul Carey fired a wrister on the Bulldogs net, Mayer got a piece of it before it trickled behind him. At the end of the period, the shots were 13-12 in favour of the Bulldogs. So in the final half of the period the Monsters outshot the Dogs 10-4.
In the second period the Bulldogs evened the score. Robert Mayer fed Brendan Gallagher for a two on one. Gallagher's body was showing pass and Calvin Pickard bit on the fake, Gallagher showed off his quick release, by sniping his 10th of the season. Re-tying Gabriel Dumont for the teams goal scoring lead.
In the second the Bulldogs continued outshooting their opponents by a margin of 10-7. Even though the Monsters weren't getting a large number of shots, many of their shots were coming in prime scoring areas and Robert Mayer was sharp on a number of stops.
Halfway through the third the Bulldogs took the lead. For the second time, Brendan Gallagher found himself controlling the puck on a two on one. This time he did pass, and slid a beauty feed over to Fredric St. Denis who snapped it top corner for his third of the season.
With the Monsters trailing, they pulled out all the stops to try and tie the game. They began to swarm Mayer and crash the net hard. At 17:54 of the period Stephane Chaput took a penalty for boarding, the Bulldogs managed to kill off the ensuing Monsters power play, even when the Monsters pulled Pickard for a 6 on 4 advantage. Mayer smothered a puck with 8 seconds left in regulation and all looked good, but on the next draw the Monsters scored on a set play. Bill Thomas' shot found its way into the net with a mere 4 seconds left. The Monsters outshot the Bulldogs by a Monster margin in the third, 18-8.
The Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to win in Overtime after Cameron Gaunce was given a double minor for highsticking. Due to the power play the Bulldogs outshot the Monsters 4-0 in the extra frame.
Mayer continued his strong play, stopping the first three Monster shooters. Michael Bournival scored on the Bulldogs third shot to give them a lead, but in the AHL it's 5 shooters instead of the NHL's 3, and the Monsters scored their next two shots to win the shootout.
The Bulldogs will get a loss, and played a pretty solid game. The Monsters outshot the Bulldogs in the third 38-35 in the game. Interesting to note was the play of Nathan Beaulieu, Beaulieu was a -1 on the evening but put 10 shots on net from the blueline. He seems more comfortable with the puck, he still needs to work a bit on the defensive side of the puck but he's game is improving daily.
1. LE - Paul Carey - 4 - (Andrew Agozzino) 18:52
2. HAM - Brendan Gallagher - 10 - (Robert Mayer) 10:40
Hamilton Lake Erie
Brendan Gallagher No Goal Mike Sgarbossa No Goal
Gabriel Dumont No Goal Andrew Agozzino No Goal
Michael Bournival Goal Tyson Barrie No Goal
Lake Erie: 1-0-1-0-1-3
Lake Erie: 12-7-18-0-1 -38
Lake Erie: Calvin Pickard (L - 35 shots, 33 saves)
Hamilton: Robert Mayer (W - 37 shots, 35 saves)
Lake Erie: 0-for-5
1. LE - Bill Thomas (1 goal, +1, 2 shots)|
2. LE - Calvin Pickard (33 saves)
3. HAM - Brendan Gallagher (1 goal, 1 assist +1, 6 shots)