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Pickard’s 40 saves lifts Lake Erie Monsters over Toronto Marlies

A Toronto Marlies jersey is seen in this file photo.

Calvin Pickard made 40 saves to lift the visiting Lake Erie Monsters to a 4-0 shutout win over the Toronto Marlies in American Hockey League action on Sunday.

Geoff Walker, Tyson Barrie, Thomas Pock and Luke Walker scored for the Monsters, while Paul Carey and Mike Sgarbossa had two assists apiece.

Pock also chipped in with a pair of helpers for a three-point game in front of an announced crowd of 4,472 at Ricoh Coliseum.

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Lake Erie improved to 2-1-0 on the season, while Marlies fell to 1-1-0. Toronto opened the 2012-13 AHL campaign with a 3-1 victory over Rochester on Saturday.

The Marlies outshot the Monsters 40-18, but couldn't solve the 20-year-old Pickard and couldn't score on the power play. After collecting three man-advantage goals against the Americans on Saturday, Toronto went 0-for-11 with the man advantage against Lake Erie.

Pickard was the main reason for Toronto's ineffectiveness. The Monsters goalie denied Toronto centre Joe Colbourne on a second-period breakaway and stood tall in foiling six Marlies power plays in the middle frame alone.

At the other end, Ben Scrivens made 14 saves in a losing effort.

The Monsters led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 through 40 minutes.

Geoff Walker opened the scoring when he whacked in his rebound at 8:23 of the first period. After Toronto failed to connect on a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the frame, Barrie skated in from the blue-line and roofed a backhander over Scrivens' blocker at 15:54.

Pock scored the only power-play marker of the game — during another 5-on-3, this time for the Monsters — when his slapshot from the left point beat a screened Scrivens at 1:34 of the second period. Toronto had a 5-on-3 advantage shortly afterwards, but couldn't solve Pickard, who made 15 saves in the second period.

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Luke Walker scored an empty-netter at 13:13 of the third after Marlies coach Dallas Eakins had pulled Scrivens in an effort to jump-start his team.

The Marlies are off until Friday when they visit the Hamilton Bulldogs in the first game of a home-and-home affair. The Monsters' next game is at Oklahoma City on Saturday.

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