Dramatic Win Keeps Lake Erie Monsters in Playoff Hunt
CLEVELAND -- Lake Erie goalie Tyler Weiman had no choice but to come up big Friday night—a night the team made him the first Monsters player to have his own bobblehead.
After giving up a goal to Brock Trotter, division-leading Hamilton's first shooter of the shootout, Weiman slammed the door on the final four Bulldog shooters to give the Monsters an emotional win in front of 7,576 energetic fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
Lake Erie's final shooter, Brock Bradford, broke the deadlock by slipping the puck past Hamilton goalie Curtis Sanford, who relieved Cedrick Desjardins in the second period. Weiman then denied Max Pacioretty before erupting in celebration.
The Monsters took a 4-3 lead into the final period after back-to-back markers by Brian Willsie (16), his second of the game, and T.J. Hensick (14).
But an anemic offensive attack in the third allowed Hamilton to send the game to overtime when Bulldog center Ryan Russell found the back of the net at 6:58 in the third.
Lake Erie won despite being outshot 38-26 and failing to capitalize on an overtime power play. The victory improved the Monsters to 4-3 on the season against the first-place Bulldogs
Lake Erie also remained percentage points ahead of the Abbotsford Heat for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division; Abbotsford defeated Rochester 3-2.
Weiman made 34 saves to notch his 20th win of the year.
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