Aittokallio makes 41 saves in Monsters win over Bulldogs

The Canadian Press

11/25/2012 6:51:07 PM

HAMILTON, Ont. -- Sami Aittokallio stopped 41 shots as the Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-1 in American Hockey League action Sunday.

Bill Thomas' first-period goal stood as the winner for the Monsters (10-7-2), while David van der Gulik, Patrick Bordeleau and Mark Olver also scored. Lake Erie snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory.

Aaron Palushaj scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs (6-8-2), while Robert Mayer made 13 saves in relief of starting goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.

The Monsters took advantage of a lucky bounce to open the scoring at 5:22 of the first.

Thomas jockeyed for position with a Bulldogs defenceman before the puck bounced away from him and onto the stick of Van der Gulik in the low slot. The Lake Erie forward snapped a quick shot past the unprepared Desjardins.

The Monsters doubled their lead after a glaring defensive lapse by the Bulldogs.

Defenceman Sean Sullivan found Thomas with an outlet pass and the winger carried the puck through Hamilton's zone uncontested before tucking it past Desjardins at 14:24.

Lake Erie added its third goal of the game at 3:40 of the second period, when Bordeleau's wristshot from a bad angle fooled Desjardins and fluttered past his outstretched glove.

The goal was Bordeleau's first of the season.

The evening worsened for the hosts when the Monsters scored their fourth goal of the game at 10:28 of the second.

Olver carried the puck across the blue-line with the Bulldogs retreating in front of him before firing a wrist shot into the top corner to Desjardins' glove side. The Hamilton goaltender was removed in favour of Mayer, having allowed four goals on 14 shots.

The hosts scored their only goal of the game at 17:57 of the second, when Gabriel Dumont's centring pass from the far corner found its way to Palushaj outside the crease and the winger snapped the puck past Aittokallio.

The Bulldogs out-shot the Monsters 20-6 in the second period.

Hamilton's struggling power-play unit went 0 for 5 on Sunday, and has now converted on only six of 72 man-advantages this season (8.3 per cent), the second-lowest efficiency rate in the AHL.