Rookie Mike Sgarbossa deflected fellow rookie Karl Stollery's point shot for a game-winning power play goal in overtime, securing a 2-1 victory for the Lake Erie Monsters (17-14-2-1) over the Charlotte Checkers (18-11-2-3) at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night. The win was the Monsters fifth straight on home ice. David van der Gulik also scored for the Monsters, and defenseman Tyson Barrie assisted on each of the Monsters goals. Rookie goalie Calvin Pickard preserved the win in net, stopping all but one of the 36 shots he faced for his second win in as many starts.
van der Gulik's goal came with 54 seconds remaining in the first period, as he picked up the rebound from a Barrie point shot and slipped it past Charlotte goaltender Dan Ellis to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead, which would hold past the midway point of the third period. The goal was the 11th of the season for van der Gulik, and was assisted by Barrie and Andrew Agozzino, who turned 22 on Thursday.
With the scored still 1-0 in favor of Lake Erie and Charlotte on a five-on-three man-advantage, Zach Boychuk netted a wrister from the top of the circle at 9:12 of the third period to ultimately force overtime for the Checkers.
At 1:52 of the extra session, with Charlotte's Brett Bellemore in the penalty box for slashing and the Monsters on a four-on-three power play, the Monsters worked the puck around to Stollery, who sent in a heavy shot from the right point. Sgarbossa provided the pressure in front of Ellis, and tipped the puck out of mid-air into the Charlotte net for the game-winner. Stollery and Barrie assisted on the goal; the assist was Barrie's 21st of the season, which leads the Monsters.
Pickard stopped 35 of 36 shots and is now 8-8-1. Ellis stopped 23 of 25 and is 7-7-2.
The Monsters and Checkers meet again Friday night at 7:30 PM at The Q.