CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - Friday night at the Q was opening night for the Lake Erie Monsters, and the new look Cleveland hockey team sent the crowd home happy with a 2-1 victory over the Oklahoma City Barons.
The winning goal came in dramatic fashion, as left winger Andrew Agozzino took a perfect pass on the wing from right winger Ben Wilson, and buried it past Barons goalie Yann Danis at 16:27 of the third for the win.
Lake Erie goalie Sami Aittokallio was sensational for the Monsters, stopping 29 of 30 shots from OKC, and making sure to keep the game close till the Monsters got the goal they needed to win it.
Aittokallio was in a heated competition with Calvin Pickard during training camp, and new head coach Dean Chynoweth gave the nod to Aittokallio.
The first period saw a scoreless tie after 20 minutes, but a lot of action between the two teams. The Monsters outshot the Barons 12-10 in the period, with a number of close calls on the power play late in the first.
Both teams were physical as well in the first 20 minutes, as each team had four penalties called against them.
It took the Monsters three minutes into the second period to finally break the stalemate, and score their first goal of the 2012-13 season.
The goal came on a nice 1-2 punch by the net, and right winger Bill Thomas converted the goal to give Lake Erie the 1-0 lead.
The assists for the goal, which officially came at the 3:05 mark went to defenseman Thomas Pock, and center Brad Malone.
Oklahoma City put the heat on Aittokallio for much of the second period, and got the tying goal back at the 14:16 mark.
The goal came on the power play, and was a nice pass from left winger Magnus Paajavri to right winger Mark Arcobello, who made the easy goal at the 14:16 mark.
Both the Barons and Monsters had two penalties on them in the second period, which ended with Lake Erie at 24 shots and the Barons at 21.
The Monsters and Barons are right back on the ice for the second of their two game in two day series at the Q at 1:00pm Saturday afternoon.