CLEVELAND - A two-goal third-period lead wasn’t enough for the Lake Erie Monsters (25-20-2-7) Friday night, as the Texas Stars (32-13-4-4) overcame a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 in a shootout before a crowd of 10,025 at Quicken Loans Arena. Mike Connolly scored twice, including a shorthanded goal, for the Monsters, who have now suffered six shootout losses over their last 12 games. Paul Carey scored to extend his point streak to six games, and Brad Malone picked up a pair of assists, giving him a four-game point streak. The Monsters earn one point in the standings for the shootout loss.
Tomas Vincour opened the scoring for the Stars, who capitalized on a Monsters defensive zone turnover at 7:55 of the first period.
The Monsters countered with three straight goals over the course of the rest of the first and second periods, beginning with Connolly’s redirection of a Markus Lauridsen point shot at 11:15 of the first period. The goal was the fifth of the season for Connolly, and Karl Stollery also gathered an assist.
Carey drove a rebound past Stars goalie Jack Campbell at 17:28 of the first period with assists to Cameron Gaunce and Malone. Carey’s goal was his 14 th of the season and fifth over his last six games.
Connolly scored his second goal of the game when he tapped in the rebound from a Malone shot with the Monsters shorthanded at 6:58 of the second period, giving the Monsters a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The two-goal advantage held until Francis Wathier began the comeback, scoring on a turnaround shot from the right circle at 10:39 of the third period to pull Texas to within a goal.
With 1:06 remaining, Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak picked up his own rebound following a Calvin Pickard save, and sent the puck over the line to tie the game at 3-3, ultimately forcing overtime and a shootout.
In the shootout, Paul Carey scored to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead with Lake Erie’s first attempt, before Oleksiak tied the shootout in the fourth round and Tom Wandell netted the shootout winner for the Stars in the sixth.
Pickard is 14-11-5 after the shootout loss; he stopped 39 of 42 shots. Jack Campbell is 12-6-3 after stopping 29 of 32 for Texas.
The Monsters and Stars meet again at The Q Saturday night at 7:30 PM to wrap up Lake Erie’s three-in-three weekend with the team’s annual “Browns Night” game.
NOTES: Carey has five goals and seven points over his current six-game point streak; only Andrew Agozzino (12/13/12-12/28/12) has had a seven-game point streak this season for the Monsters… Malone has a goal and four assists over his current four-game point streak… The Monsters are now 2-0-0-1 against Texas this season, with the four-game season series wrapping up Saturday night… The Monsters home record moves to 11-9-1-4 after the shootout loss, while the Stars improve to 18-7-2-1 on the road; only Syracuse (20) has more road wins than Texas… The Monsters were 0-2 on the power play, snapping a string of four straight games with a power play goal for the Monsters, who were 6-16 on the power play in four games leading up to Friday’s shootout loss to the Stars… The Monsters were 3-3 on the penalty kill, making them 6-6 on the penalty kill over their last two games.
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