Monsters Upended By Rockford, 3-2

Markus Lauridsen pulled the Lake Erie Monsters (24-20-4-3) to within a goal in the final minute, but they were unable to tie the game and eventually fell to the Rockford IceHogs (30-18-4-2) by a 3-2 score Saturday night before a crowd of 9,219 at Quicken Loans Arena.  Troy Bourke also scored for the Monsters, while Trevor Cheek added a pair of assists in the loss.  The Monsters split the two-game weekend series against Rockford, with each team winning a game in regulation by a 3-2 score.  The Monsters continue their eight-game homestand Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. in the annual schoolday game at The Q.


T.J. Brennan gave Rockford a 1-0 lead with a power play goal, beating Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard top-shelf from the left circle 2:59 into the contest.  Rockford took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission, and also led the shots on goal 16-5 after 20 minutes.

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At 13:38 of the second period, following a tenacious Trevor Cheek forecheck that caused Rockford goalie Scott Darling to misplay a puck out of the net, Troy Bourke sent a puck to the net that ricocheted off Darling and snuck over the goal line to tie the game at 1-1 for the Monsters.  The goal was the seventh of the season for Bourke, and was assisted by Cheek.  The game was tied for just 13 seconds, however, as Rockford's Dane Walters snapped a shot from the Monsters blue line that hit the goal post and went in, putting Rockford up 2-1.

Rockford's Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored on a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Calvin Pickard short-side at 17:08 of the second period.  Labrie's goal was the eventual game-winner, and also marked the end of the evening for Pickard in the Monsters net.  Pickard was relieved by Sami Aittokallio with 2:52 remaining in the second period.

Lauridsen scored from the point for the Monsters with 42 seconds left to pull the Monsters to within 3-2 with assists to Kenny Ryan and Cheek, but were unable to tie before falling 3-2.

Pickard suffered the loss in net for the Monsters, stopping 19 of 22 shots in 37:08 of action; Pickard is 14-9-4 this season.  Aittokallio stopped all six shots he faced in 19:57 of relief.  Scott Darling improved to 14-8-2 in net for Rockford, stopping 17 of 19 shots.

The Monsters host Rochester at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday with the game airing live on AM 1540 KNR2.

NOTES: The Monsters have split their last three back-to-back series, and are 3-3-0-0 over their last six games... The Monsters are 13-10-0-2 at home this season, and are 3-3-1-0 against Rockford on the campaign... The Monsters are 10-5-2-0 over their last 17 games... Pickard is 6-3-1 over his last 10 starts in net, and has started 10 of the last 11 games for the Monsters... Bourke had a goal and an assist in the two game set against Rockford... The Monsters were 0-5 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill... Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook, and on Instagram at