CHARLOTTE - The Lake Erie Monsters (12-10-1-1) surrendered three second-period Checkers goals, as well as four unanswered Charlotte goals over the second and third periods, and it was too much to overcome as the Checkers (13-8-0-2) took a 5-1 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday night. Geoff Walker scored the Monsters only goal, and with an assist, Mike Connolly now has a four-game point streak. In back-to-back games in Charlotte this week, the Monsters came away with a split, earning two of four points.
After a scoreless first period, Brett Sutter netted the game's first goal at 2:46 of the second period on a wrist shot from the right circle.
Walker quickly tied the game for the Monsters on a puck sent out of the right wing corner that deflected off Charlotte goalie Dan Ellis, but it would be all the scoring the Monsters would muster on the night. Walker's goal was assisted by Connolly and Mark Olver at 5:21 of the second period.
Between the 5:54 and 6:21 mark of the second period, Sean Dolan and Justin Krueger scored for Charlotte, putting the Checkers in the lead for the duration, leaving the score at 3-1 for the rest of the second period.
Jerome Samson and Drayson Bowman netted third-period goals to give Charlotte a 5-1 lead; the final score.
Monsters first-year goaltender Sami Aittokallio stopped 30 of 35 in net; he is now 7-6-0. Dan Ellis stopped 36 of 37 for Charlotte, and is now 6-4-2.
The Monsters are back in action Tuesday night in Hamilton against the Bulldogs at 7:30 PM.
NOTES: Aittokallio had won back-to-back starts leading up to Friday, and has won back-to-back games three times this season... No Monsters goalie has won three consecutive starts this season... Connolly's three-game goal streak was snapped in the loss, but his assist extended his point streak to four games... With Olver's assist, he now leads the Monsters in helpers with 14 on the season... The Monsters are 4-2-0-0 all-time against the Checkers, and are 1-1-0-0 against them this season... The game included four fights, with Mitchell Heard involved in two of them for the Monsters... Heard entered the evening tied for the AHL rookie lead in fighting majors... Both teams were 0-4 on the power play.