The Lake Erie Monsters hosted the Milwaukee Admirals in the first of two home games last Tuesday, losing 4-0 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Monsters were unable to give starting goalie Roman Will any offensive support, as he finished with 27 saves on 30 shots.
Lake Erie bounced back two nights later as it defeated the same Admirals team 4-3 on Thursday night. The Monsters were able to overcome a two-goal deficit after the first period, with goals coming from forwards Mitchell Heard and Paul Carey to tie the score 2-2.
Defenseman Stefan Elliott gave the Monsters their first lead of the night when he scored a power-play goal with only 1:56 left in regulation. Forward Andrew Agozzino scored 26 seconds later to give the Monsters a 4-2 advantage. Milwaukee scored with less than a minute remaining in the game to cut Lake Erie’s lead down to one goal, but it wasn’t enough to sustain a comeback.
Will finished the game with 19 saves on 22 shots.
Lake Erie hosted the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night in its last game heading into the holiday break. The Monsters overcame yet another two-goal deficit to force overtime, but eventually fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Griffins.
Agozzino opened the scoring 10:54 into the first period, with assists coming from Michael Sgarbossa and Maxim Noreau. However, Grand Rapids scored two quick tallies late in the period, giving the visiting team a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes of play.
The Griffins extended their lead to 3-1 just over six minutes into the second period, before Noreau scored a power-play goal to cut the score back down to one. Forward Colin Smith scored his eighth goal of the season at 15:19 of the final period to force overtime.
Grand Rapids outshot Lake Erie 5-4 in the extra frame, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Tomas Vincour scored the only goal in the shootout for the Monsters, as the Griffins took a 2-1 advantage in the tiebreaker.
Despite the loss, Will was solid in net for the Monsters, stopping 25 of 28 shots and 4-of-the-6 shooters in the shootout.
Lake Erie (13-10-2-3) will have a few days off for the holidays before heading on a three-game road trip. The Monsters will take on the Rochester Americans on Friday night, followed by a trip to Utica to face the Comets on Saturday night. The team will wrap up its road trip next Tuesday against the Admirals in Milwaukee.
Dec. 26 at Rochester
Dec. 27 at Utica
Dec. 30 at Milwaukee
Garrett Meurs (Fort Wayne Komets): The Fort Wayne Komets traveled to Kalamazoo on Friday night and defeated the Wings 5-4. Meurs registered two shots on goal in the win. The Komets hosted the Indy Fuel the following night and came away with a 3-1 victory. Meurs finished with one goal and two shots. The team finished its third game in three nights on Sunday, defeating Evansville 4-3 in a shootout. Fort Wayne (21-4-1) currently sits in first place in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference with 43 points. Meurs, Colorado’s fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 15 games this season.
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): The Owen Sound Attack defeated the Plymouth Whalers 6-3 on Wednesday night at Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Bigras led the offense for the Attack, scoring five points (two goals, three assists) and earning first star of the game honors. Owen Sound traveled to Niagara the following night, losing 8-7 in overtime in a high-scoring game with the IceDogs. Bigras recorded two assists in the loss, giving him seven points in just two games to finish the week. He currently sits one point behind the scoring leader among OHL defensemen with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 30 games this season. Bigras was named the OHL Player of the Week on Monday, the first defenseman to earn the award this season.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): The Kitchener Rangers hosted London last Tuesday, losing a close 5-4 game against the Knights. Magyar recorded one goal in the loss. On Friday, Kitchener defeated the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 5-1 before heading into its holiday break. Magyar has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in 29 games with the Rangers this season.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Mississauga suffered a 4-1 loss to Ottawa on Friday, with Martin making 40 saves on 44 shots. The Steelheads bounced back the following night as they traveled to Belleville and defeated the Bulls 1-0 in a shootout. Martin stopped all 41 shots he faced and blanked both Belleville shooters in the shootout. The Steelheads netminder earned first star of the game honors after recording his first shutout of the season. Mississauga finished its weekend with a 5-4 shootout victory against the visiting Sudbury Wolves. Martin started the game and made five saves on six shots in 12 minutes of playing time before being forced to leave the game with an injury.
Kyle Wood (North Bay Battalion): The North Bay Battalion hosted the Oshawa Generals on Friday night in its only game before the holiday break. The Generals defeated the Battalion 5-2, as Wood finished with a plus-1 rating. Wood, Colorado’s third round pick (84th overall) in this past year’s NHL Draft, has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 31 games this season.
Julien Nantel (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Rouyn-Noranda suffered a 5-0 loss to Val-d’Or in its only game of the week on Thursday. Nantel recorded three shots in the losing effort. Colorado’s seventh round pick (204th overall) in this past year’s draft, Nantel currently has 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 31 games for the Huskies this season.
Alexis Pepin (Gatineau Olympiques): Gatineau hosted Blainville-Boisbriand on Thursday night, ultimately losing by a score of 6-3. Pepin recorded one goal in the loss. He has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 19 games since returning from an injury earlier in the season.
Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels): The Red Deer Rebels hosted Kelowna on Wednesday, losing 6-3 to the Rockets. Bleackley scored two goals in the losing effort, pushing his goal total on the year to 14. He is currently tied for third on the team in scoring with 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 33 games this season.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): The Vancouver Giants defeated the Everett Silvertips 2-1 last Tuesday at Pacific Coliseum. Geertsen finished the game with a plus-1 rating. He has 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) and a plus-7 rating through 28 games this season.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver hockey team has three weeks off before returning for the Dartmouth Showcase on Jan. 2 in Hanover, N.H. Butcher has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 15 games for the Pioneers this season. He is currently attending Team USA’s training camp in preparation for World Junior Championship. Butcher survived the first round of cuts over the weekend and helped the U.S. defeat Germany 5-2 in the team’s first exhibition game on Sunday. USA is scheduled to open the tournament against Finland this Friday. Butcher was named an alternate captain for Team USA earlier today.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): St. Cloud State also has a three-week holiday break before returning Jan. 2 versus Quinnipiac University in the first of two home games against the Bobcats. Storm has registered one goal in 10 games for the Huskies this season.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20, Ligga Jr. A): Pajpach has yet to appear in a game for Tappara this season after suffering an offseason injury.
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL/Malmo Redhawks): Skelleftea is scheduled to host Orebro Hockey on Friday as it returns from the holiday break. Lindholm has one assist in 14 games for Skelleftea this season. Skelleftea is also scheduled to compete in the Champions Hockey League semifinals on Jan. 2 against Lulea Hockey. Lindholm has one goal and two assists in six games for the Malmo Redhawks, who are set to face Mora IK on Saturday before hosting Karlskrona HK on Monday.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden, SHL/Vita Hasten, Allsvenskan): Vita Hasten lost 4-1 to Timra last Tuesday, before losing 4-2 to Vasteras on Thursday night. Westlund has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 25 games this season.
Luke Walker (Graz 99ers, Eishockey Liga): The Graz 99ers suffered a 4-1 loss to HC Bolzano on Friday night, before traveling to HC TWK Innsbruck on Sunday. HC TWK defeated the 99ers by the same score of 4-1. Walker has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 26 games for the Graz 99ers this season.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv did not play any games this past week but was scheduled play to Vityaz today. Holos has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 37 games this season.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Avangard is on its holiday break but is scheduled to host Salavat on Wednesday. Parshin continues to lead his team in scoring with 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 39 games this season.