Monsters Fall in Chicago, 7-3
Andrew Agozzino scored twice, but the Lake Erie Monsters (31-27-8-4) fell to the Chicago Wolves (37-26-6-1) by a 7-3 score Tuesday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Colin Smith also scored for the Monsters, while Ben Street tallied two assists. The Monsters remain five points behind eighth place Milwaukee in the Western Conference playoff race, and they are back on the ice when they host Rochester at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night. Thursday's game airs live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
Chicago bolted off to a 2-0 lead in the first 4:17 of the game. First, Adam Cracknell finished off a two-on-one rush for Chicago at 1:41 of the first period, and at 4:11 Joe Edmundson backhanded a centering feed from the top of the goal crease and slipped the puck under Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard. After several scoring chances in the first period, Andrew Agozzino converted on a power play for his 26th goal of the season at 14:51 of the first period. Ben Street slipped a pass out of the right corner to Agozzino rushing to the net, and Agozzino redirected the pass by Wolves goalie Matt Climie. Ben Youds also assisted on the Monsters first goal.
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After a scoreless second period, Agozzino pulled the Monsters to a 2-2 tie with his team-leading 27th goal of the season. Street found Agozzino in front of the net, and Agozzino immediately sent the puck top-shelf for the tying goal. Reid Petryk also assisted on Agozzino's second goal of the game.
Yannick Veilleux netted a loose puck from the right circle for the Wolves at 3:52 of the third period to give Chicago a 3-2 lead, and Jeremy Welsh extended the Wolves lead to 4-2 at 10:34 of the third period. Colin Smith scored his 11th goal of the season on a rebound to pull the Monsters to within 1 at 12:50 of the third period with assists to Markus Lauridsen and Bruno Gervais.
The Monsters were unable to tie the game, as Chicago scored three times in the final 4:48 of the game. Welsh scored for a second time, cutting to the front of the net and jamming a puck past Pickard, and Edmundson and Brent Regner added shorthanded empty-netters for Chicago.
Pickard is 19-15-9 after the loss; he stopped 25 of 30 shots. Climie is 15-12-3 with the win for Chicago; he stopped 33 of 36.
The Monsters are back on the ice Thursday at home against Rochester, with the game starting at 7:00 p.m. Thursday's game airs live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
NOTES: The Monsters finish the eight-game season series against Chicago with a 5-3-0-0 record; the Monsters five-game win streak against Chicago snapped with Tuesday's loss... The Monsters are 14-14-5-2 on the road this season... The Monsters are 18-13-2-2 against the Midwest Division... Agozzino has 12 goals and 25 points in his last 16 games... Agozzino is now the Monsters all-time leader in power play goals with 19... Street has 15 assists and 18 points over his last 16 games... The Monsters were 1-4 on the power play, and Chicago was 0-3 on the man-advantage... Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.