The Lake Erie Monsters had a challenging road trip to New York, falling in both matches over the weekend. The Monsters ended up losing with final scores of 4-1 on Friday against the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena and 6-3 on Saturday against the Utica Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
In the opening game, the Monsters outshot the Americans 15-11 in the first period but could not get any pucks past Rochester’s goalie.
Defenseman Stefan Elliott scored the lone goal for the Monsters with 28 seconds left in the second period, putting Lake Erie on the board. His quick shot from the right circle was his eighth goal of the season and was assisted by Tomas Vincour and Borna Rendulic. Elliott is now tied with Colin Smith for the most goals on the team this season.
The Monsters were unable to get any more shots past the Americans in the third period and fell 4-1. Goalie Roman Will started in net for the fourth straight game for Lake Erie and stopped 22-of-25 shots, making his record 2-5-1 for the season.
Lake Erie was able to score two more goals the next night in the season series finale against the Western Conference-leading Utica Comets, but the visitors fell short with a final score of 6-3.
Utica was leading 5-0 early in the third period before Karl Stollery scored an unassisted goal, putting the Monsters on the scoresheet. Stollery’s fourth goal of the season opened up a scoring frenzy for Lake Erie as two more goals followed shortly after.
Paul Carey scored his eighth goal of the season at 11:40 on a power play, tying fellow Monsters Elliott and Smith for the team lead. Maxim Noreau and Michael Sgarbossa assisted on the tally.
Sgarbossa assisted for the second time in the game on the following goal, tapped in by Troy Bourke. Both of Sgarbossa’s assists propelled him to the top spot on the team with 15 helpers for the year.
Will started in net for the Monsters, saving 22-of-26 shots before being relieved by Sami Aittokallio in the third period. Aittokallio stopped 10 of the 11 shots by Utica.
Dec. 30 at Milwaukee
Jan. 2 vs. Oklahoma
Jan. 3 vs. Oklahoma
Jan. 9 at Rochester
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets traveled to Evansville, Ind., on Friday night and fell 6-4 to the IceMen. Garrett Meurs registered one assist in the loss. The following night, the Komets hosted the IceMen at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and rallied with a 5-1 victory. Gabriel Beaupre had two assists in the game, while Meurs finished with a plus-1 rating.
Fort Wayne finished its third game in four nights at home on Monday, losing 7-5 to Quad City. Beaupre had a goal and an assist in the contest.
The Komets (22-6-1) currently sit in first place in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference with 45 points. Meurs has 14 points (nine goals, four assists) in 18 games this season, while Beaupre has five points (one goal, four assists) in eight contests.
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Chris Bigras and the Owen Sound Attack had a relaxing holiday week. They only played in one game, losing 2-1 to the Barrie Colts on Monday. Bigras's season-high five-game point streak ended in the game (four goals, nine assists), but he is still near the top in the OHL in scoring among defensemen. He has racked up 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 31 games this year.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): The Kitchener Rangers hosted Erie on Sunday, losing 6-3 to the Otters. Magyar recorded one assist in the loss. The 18-year-old Cleveland, Ohio native has registered nine goals and four assists in 30 games this season for the Rangers.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Mississauga had one game last week on Sunday, falling 6-3 to the Niagara IceDogs. The Steelheads recently announced Martin would not be returning to the ice this season due to a knee injury, suffered during a 5-4 win over the Sudbury Wolves on Dec. 21. Martin had a 15-13-1 record, 2.98 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 31 games for Mississauga this season.
Kyle Wood (North Bay Battalion): North Bay had an 11-day break between games and will return to the ice on New Year's Eve against Ottawa. 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 year.
Julien Nantel (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Rouyn-Noranda suffered an 8-3 loss to Val-d’Or on Sunday. The Huskies bounced back Monday against Val-d'Or with a 5-4 shootout victory. Nantel did not record any points in either game. Colorado’s seventh round pick (204th overall) in this past year’s draft, Nantel currently has 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 33 games for the Huskies this season.
Alexis Pepin (Gatineau Olympiques): Gatineau hosted Drummondville on Sunday night, ultimately losing by a score of 4-2. The Olympiques played again the following night, falling 6-3 to Sherbrooke. Pepin did not record any points in the two contests. Overall, he has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in 21 games since returning from an injury earlier in the season.
Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels): The Red Deer Rebels played in Edmonton on Saturday, winning 3-2 over the Oil Kings. Bleackley scored one goal in the victory. The next night, Bleackley scored two of the three Red Deer goals, leading to a 3-1 win in a rematch versus Edmonton. He has registered 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 35 games this season.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): The Vancouver Giants fell 1-0 in overtime to the Everett Silvertips on Saturday at Xfinity Arena. The Giants played again on Sunday, losing 3-2 to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Geertsen has 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) and a plus-7 rating through 34 games this season.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver hockey team had three weeks off but will return to action this weekend at the Dartmouth Showcase in Hanover, N.H. DU will play Dartmouth on Friday and Brown on Saturday. Butcher has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 15 games for the Pioneers this season. He is currently playing on the United States National Junior Team, competing in the World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal. Butcher is an alternate captain for USA. On Friday, the U.S. beat reigning-champion Finland 2-1 in a shootout. Butcher made an impressive block on an open net that kept the Americans from losing in overtime and pushed the two teams into a shootout. His block and strong defensive performance earned him the player of the game award. Butcher was then a huge asset in a 6-0 U.S. win versus Germany on Sunday. The United States is on a three-game win streak after beating Slovakia 3-0 on Monday night. Click here to read more about Butcher at the World Juniors.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): St. Cloud State had a three-week holiday break but returns to action this weekend with two home games versus the Quinnipiac University 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 U20 this season after suffering an offseason injury.
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): Skelleftea fell 3-2 in overtime to Orebro Hockey on Friday and lost 3-1 on Sunday to HV71. Lindholm has one assist in 16 games for Skelleftea this season. Skelleftea is also scheduled to compete in the Champions Hockey League semifinals on Jan. 13 against Lulea Hockey.
Wilhelm Westlund (Vita Hasten, Allsvenskan): Vita Hasten played in one game last weak, winning 3-1 against Rogle BK on Saturday. Westlund has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 25 games this season.
Luke Walker (Graz 99ers): The Graz 99ers suffered a 5-1 loss to EHC LIWEST Black Wings Linz last Tuesday night before traveling to EC KAC for a Friday contest. EC KAC defeated the 99ers 4-3. Graz then lost 3-2 to EC VSV on Sunday. Walker has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 29 games for the Graz 99ers this season.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv beat Vityaz 4-2 last Tuesday. On Thursday, Holos had one goal in a 6-3 victory over Atlant. Continuing a three-game win steak, Lokomotiv beat Severstal 2-1 on Sunday with Holos finishing the contest with a plus-1 rating. Holos has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 40 games this season.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Avangard played Salavat Yulaev on Wednesday, taking home a 4-3 overtime victory. Parshin had one assist in the win. On Friday, Avangard fell 3-1 to CSKA Moscow but came back to beat Barys 3-1 on Sunday. Parshin had one goal in the win and continues to lead the team in scoring with 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists) in 42 games this season.