Andrew Agozzino's power play goal pulled the Lake Erie Monsters to within a goal in the third period, but their attempt to rally came up just short as the Monsters (15-13-0-3) fell by a 3-2 score on the road to the Utica Comets (11-16-1-2) Wednesday afternoon at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Agozzino, as well as Bryan Lerg, scored for the Monsters. The Monsters are back on the ice at Quicken Loans Arena against Milwaukee Friday at 7:30 PM.
After a scoreless first period, Utica's Pascal Pelletier scored the game's first goal to give the Comets a 1-0 lead shortly after his penalty expired at 6:10 of the second period. Colin Stuart's power play goal gave Utica a 2-0 lead at 15:34 of the second period.
Bryan Lerg put the Monsters on the board with a one-timer from the center of the Utica blue line, cutting the deficit to 2-1, at 2:13 of the second period. The goal was Lerg's team-leading 12th of the season, and was assisted by Matt Hunwick and Brett Clark. Utica answered, however, when Darren Archibald made it a 3-1 game when he sent a puck to the front of the net that deflected past Monsters goalie Sami Aittokallio at 5:24 of the third period.
Andrew Agozzino added a power play goal, his seventh of the season, at 11:10 of the third period to cut the Monsters deficit to 3-2 when he found a loose puck in front of the net and chipped it home with assists to Mark Olver and Bryan Lerg. The Monsters, who outscored Utica 2-1 in the third period, were unable to tie the game despite a flurry in the final moments.
Sami Aittokallio stopped 24 of 27 shots in net for the Monsters; his record falls to 7-6-1. Joe Cannata stopped 18 of 20 shots in the Utica net, and is now 3-7-1.
The Monsters host Milwaukee Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, with the puck dropping at 7:30 PM.
NOTES: The Monsters have played one-goal games in six of their last seven games… Four of the five games this season between the Monsters and Comets have been decided by 3-2 final scores… Agozzino has goals in back-to-back games… With each gathering assists Wednesday, Lerg and Olver are tied for the Monsters team lead with 15 assists on the campaign… Lerg's 12 goals and 27 points are team-leading totals on the season… The Monsters are 10-7-0-3 against the North Division, and 2-2-0-1 against Utica this season.