The Lake Erie Monsters were on the road this past weekend, playing Friday and Saturday in Rockford and in Milwaukee on Sunday. It was a rough road trip with the Monsters losing 4-3 on Friday, 6-1 on Saturday, and 6-5 on Sunday. The three straight losses moved Lake Erie’s record to 17-16-0 on the season.
The club is currently in ninth place in the AHL Western Conference and four points behind the Rockford Icehogs for the final playoff spot.
On Friday, the Monsters were in Rockford for the third game of their four-game season series. Lake Erie was competitive throughout the game, fighting back to tie the game on three separate occasions. The Monsters faced a 1-0 gap after a late Icehogs' goal with 17 seconds left in the first period, but they responded quickly with a goal right before the first intermission.
The Monsters found themselves behind again in the second period when Mark Olver spotted Matt Hunwick open at the top of the right circle to tie the game at two. Hunwick beat the Rockford goalie top shelf for his seventh goal on the season.
The Monsters tried to establish a lead in the third period but couldn’t overcome an early Icehog power play. Rockford took the lead again at 2:04 of the third period on a tipped shot that careened past Sami Aittokallio, who stopped 28 of 32 shots in net for the Monsters.
Lake Erie battled back once again thanks to two players returning to the lineup after being out with injuries, Guillaume Desbiens and Michael Sgarbossa. Desbiens tied the game with a shot on a loose puck from the right circle at 14:23 of the period. Markus Lauridsen and Sgarbossa were credited with assists on Desbiens’ third goal of the season. However, Rockford took the lead for good on a late deflection and held on for the victory.
The final matchup of the season between Lake Erie and Rockford was on Saturday, and the Monsters came out of the game with a tough 6-1 loss.
Andrew Agozzino moved his point streak to six games after he scored the lone Lake Erie goal. Hunwick and Sgarbossa both tallied assists on the goal. Aittokallio was in net again for the Monsters, stopping 19 of 25 shots and has an 8-8-1 record on the season.
The busy weekend for the Monsters came to an end on Sunday in Milwaukee. Lake Erie played its third game in as many nights in a 6-5 loss to the Admirals.
Joey Hishon did his best to keep the Monsters from going winless on the weekend with the Monsters' second hat trick of the season. He started the scoring for Lake Erie at 10:38 of the second period to cut the Admirals' lead to 3-1. Agozzino and Hunwick both continued their point streaks with assists on Hishon's first goal of the night. Agozzino picked up another assist on the Monsters’ second goal, a short-handed tally by Desbiens that cut the Milwaukee lead to 5-2.
The Admirals would get another goal early in the third period to put their lead to 6-2 before Hishon got his second tally of the night on a nice backdoor look from Mikael Tam, cutting the deficit to three goals. Hunwick tallied his third of four points in the game by getting an assist with Tam.
Later in the third, Hishon scored his eighth of the season on a shot that deflected off a defender that cut the lead to two. The four-point night for Hunwick was the second one for the Monsters this season. Calvin Pickard was in net for the Monsters, stopping 26 of 32 shots and dropping his overall record to 9-8-2.
Jan. 17 at Iowa
Jan. 18 at Iowa
Jan. 23 vs. Rochester
The Cutthroats played three games this week, compiling a 2-1 record. Denver was at St. Charles last Wednesday for a 4-3 overtime victory. Kent Patterson was in net for the Cutthroats and stopped 18 of 21 shots.
On Friday, Denver again prevailed in overtime, 4-3, at the Allen Event Center against the Americans. Patterson led the Cutthroats by stopping 31 of 34 shots. Allen took Saturday’s matchup 5-0 by scoring five times in its 29 shots on Patterson.
Jan. 17 at Rapid City
Jan. 18 at Rapid City
Jan. 20 at Rapid City
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): The Owen Sound Attack hosted the Erie Otters on Friday night and was beat 4-0. Bigras and the Attack were back at home on Saturday night against Sarnia but lost 6-3. Bigras finished Saturday’s game with a plus-1 rating.
Joseph Blandisi (Barrie Colts): Blandisi was traded to the Barrie Colts from the Ottawa 67’s last Wednesday. In his debut Thursday with the Colts, Blandisi finished with a minus-2 rating in a 6-5 loss to the Erie Otters. Barrie hosted Kingston on Saturday, winning 8-5. Blandisi had four assists against Kingston and had a plus-2 rating.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): The Petes were at home this past weekend, playing Thursday night against Belleville and lost 5-4. Peterborough defeated North Bay 6-1 on Saturday.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Mississauga was in action three times this past week with road games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, the Steelheads suffered a 4-1 loss to North Bay. Martin stopped 27 of 30 shots against the Battalion. On Friday, they lost 4-2 to Sudbury, despite Martin stopping 39 of 43 shots. The Steelheads lost again on Saturday, dropping a 4-1 decision to Sault Ste. Marie. Martin was again in net for Mississauga and made 42 saves.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): Prince George was busy this past week at it played four games. On Tuesday, the Cougars hosted the Seattle Thunderbirds but lost 9-7. Bourke had two assists in the loss. The teams met again on Wednesday with Seattle winning once more, this time 2-1. Bourke had a minus-1 rating overall and also six penalty minutes. The Cougars were in Vancouver on Friday night and lost 6-5 to the Giants. Bourke had an assist in the loss. Prince George’s only win of the week came Saturday against Kamloops, 4-3. Bourke had two assists in the win and finished the week with five helpers in four games.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): The Giants played two games this week. They hosted Prince George on Friday, winning 6-5. Geertsen scored his second goal of the season in the contest. Vancouver hosted Portland on Sunday but lost 5-4 in a shootout.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Butcher scored on Friday in Denver’s 6-3 loss at home to St. Cloud State. The Pioneers bounced back on Saturday to get a 5-2 win. Butcher had a plus-2 rating in Saturday night’s contest.
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): Minnesota opened a two-game series at Penn State on Sunday with a 3-2 victory. The Gophers won 5-1 on Monday against the Nittany Lions with Condon having a goal and an assist in the contest.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffatt scored two power-play goals in Michigan’s weekend series with Wisconsin. The Wolverines lost both games, 5-4 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. Moffatt leads the Big Ten Conference with six power-play goals.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State): St. Cloud State split its weekend series at the University of Denver. The No. 2 Huskies won 6-3 on Friday but were defeated 5-2 on Saturday.
Gus Young (Yale University): Young had a goal and an assist in the Bulldogs' 5-1 win over Harvard in the Rivalry on Ice at Madison Square Garden. Young was named one of the game's three stars.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Lokomotiv defeated Metallurg 2-1 on Thursday and Vityaz 1-0 on Monday. Holos had an assist on the game-winning goal in Monday’s win.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Torpedo was 2-0 this week, defeating Barys 7-2 on Thursday and Atlant 5-4 on Monday. Parshin scored a goal in Thursday’s victory.
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bars suffered two defeats this week. The club lost 2-1 to Barys on Tuesday and 3-2 to SKA on Monday.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Medvescak defeated Dinamo 4-1 on Monday. It also defeated Spartak 3-1 on Wednesday.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Westlund has 10 assists in 19 games this season with Farjestads J20. He has played four games in the SHL this season.