HERSHEY, Pa. - One day after being named AHL All-Stars, rookies Andrew Agozzino and Mike Sgarbossa led the Lake Erie Monsters (21-16-2-1) to a 3-2 win over the Hershey Bears (20-18-1-1) Friday night at the Giant Center. Agozzino and Sgarbossa both scored, plus Sgarbossa also added two assists. Monsters veteran Bill Thomas also contributed three points on the night, while rookie goaltender Sami Aittokallio won his second straight start in net for Lake Erie.
Boyd Kane opened the scoring for Hershey when his centering pass deflected by Aittokallio at 12:39 of the first period on the power play.
Just 15 seconds later, the Monsters answered when Sgarbossa led a rush up the left wing, spotted Thomas cutting to the front of the Hershey net, and sent a perfectly placed pass onto Thomas' stick, which he tapped in for his 14th goal of the season. Mike Connolly also assisted on the goal. The first period ended with the score knotted at 1-1.
Agozzino scored his 13th goal of the season- the only goal of the second period for either team- after a pass from Sgarbossa that put nothing between Agozzino and a net that had been mostly vacated by Hershey goalie Philipp Grubauer. Agozzino fired the puck into the goal to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead at 14:05 of the second period. Sgarbossa and Thomas assisted on the goal, which came on the power play.
Sgarbossa scored on the man advantage for the Monsters when his feed to the front of the net bounced over the line to give Lake Erie a 3-1 lead, and Sgarbossa his 14th goal of the season. The power play marker at 2:32 of the third period was assisted by Thomas and Karl Stollery.
Jeff Taffe added a late goal for Hershey, but the Bears were not able to complete the comeback, falling to Lake Erie by a 3-2 score.
Aittokallio improved to 11-8-0 in net, stopping 24 of 26 shots. Grubauer stopped 20 of 23 shots in the Hershey loss and is 2-2-0.
The Monsters finish their six-game road swing in Syracuse on Saturday at 7:30 PM.
NOTES: Sgarbossa now has eight multi-point games on the season after three points in his return to the Monsters lineup following a trip to Colorado Avalanche training camp... The Monsters are now 12-3-0-0 this season when Bill Thomas gets a point; he has four goals and eight points over his last five games... With an assist, Mike Connolly has four assists in four games... Aittokallio has won back-to-back starts... The Monsters are 1-0-0-0 this season against Eastern Conference teams, and are now 6-2-0-2 all-time against the Hershey Bears.