The Lake Erie Monsters started the New Year on a winning note, with a 2-1 record to begin 2014.
On Wednesday, the Monsters opened 2014 in Utica. They couldn’t quite complete a comeback and suffered a close 3-2 loss. Andrew Agozzino scored for the second consecutive game, cutting the Comets’ lead to one at 11:10 of the third period. The power-play goal came on a loose puck in front of the net. Assists were credited to Mark Olver and Bryan Lerg.
Lerg opened the scoring for the Monsters early in the third period, cutting a 2-0 Utica lead in half. It was Lerg’s team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Sami Attokallio was in net for the Monsters and was strong in the third period that saw the Monsters outscore the Comets 2-1. Attokallio stopped 24 of the 27 shots that the Comets fired his way. The Comets were outshot 27-20 on the night. Attokallio is now 7-6-1 on the season.
The Monsters defense was superb on Friday night at it allowed only 14 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals. Calvin Pickard stopped 12 of 14 shots in net, moving his record to 9-7-2. The Monsters got off to a great start as Agozzino continued his hot streak with a goal early in the first period of the game. It was his third straight game with a goal. Markus Lauridsen and JT Wyman were credited with assists on the game’s opening tally.
Lauridsen received his second assist of the night on a Matt Hunwick goal that put the Monsters up 2-0 at 7:20 in the first period. Joey Hishon was the second assist man on the goal. The lead remained at two until an Admiral goal off of a deflection at 14:18 of the first.
Hunwick and Hishon both tallied two-point nights picking up assists on a power-play goal by Mark Olver at 7:47 of the second period. Hishon set Olver up with a nice pass at the top of the left circle and Olver finished to extend the Monsters’ lead to 3-1.
The Admirals would cut the deficit to one again late in the third period before pulling their goalie and giving up an empty-net goal to Brett Clark. The 4-2 Monsters victory was the first game between the two teams this season.
The Monsters hosted the Admirals at Quicken Loans Arena again on Saturday night, lighting up the scoreboard in a 6-1 victory. In the season’s largest offensive explosion, five different Monsters’ players recorded multi-point games. David Van Der Gulik had the season’s first hat trick for Lake Erie, scoring all three goals in the last two periods. It was the Monsters sixth consecutive victory over the Admirals dating back to last season.
Joey Hishon put home a rebound off of a JT Wyman shot early at 14:30 of the first period for his fifth goal of the season. Mark Olver was also credited with an assist on the early Monsters’ goal. The first period ended with the score tied at 1-1 after a quick answer by Milwaukee.
Lake Erie seized control of the lead for good just 40 seconds into the second period on Van Der Gulik’s first goal of the night. Agozzino picked up an assist on the goal to run his point streak to four games. Van Der Gulik struck again later in the second period, cleaning up a Mark Olver rebound on the power play. Olver and Agozzino were both credited with assists on the second Van Der Gulik tally of the night.
The hat trick was completed for Van Der Gulik early in the third period when Mark Olver spotted him streaking out of the penalty box with an excellent stretch pass. After a nice deke to get to his backhand, Van Der Gulik finished the play with a goal and the hat trick.
With the score at 4-1 and the Monsters on another power play, Karl Stollery scored off a hard shot from the blue line. The shot deflected off of the goal post and the goalie before going in to stretch the Monsters’ lead to 5-1. Wyman received the only assist on the Stollery goal.
With the lead at 5-1 and 9:45 on the clock, both goalies received five-minute major penalties for fighting and game misconducts for dropping their gloves at center ice. Sami Aittokallio was stellar all night before his exit, stopping 21 of the 22 shots he faced. His record is now 8-6-1.
The Monsters tallied their last goal on an Olver shot off the post for his ninth goal of the season. The goal capped off a four-point night for Olver and was assisted by Stollery and Wyman. Olver has 10 points in his last four games and is also a plus-5 during that stretch.
Jan. 10 at Rockford
Jan. 11 at Rockford
Jan. 12 at Milwaukee
Kent Patterson had a wonderful week in net for the Denver Cutthroats. Patterson was 3-0-0 this past week, stopping 115 of 120 shots faced, and getting a shutout to end the week on Saturday. By stopping 41 of 41 shots in Saturday night's 2-0 win over Tulsa, Patterson was able to move his overall record to 11-6-4. The shutout was his first on the season.
Denver began the week with a 4-3 victory over the Sundogs in Arizona before beginning their inaugural Colorado Tour series on Friday with a 4-2 win in Aspen, Colo., over the Tulsa Oilers.
Jan. 8 at St. Charles
Jan. 10 at Allen
Jan. 11 at Allen
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Bigras started his new year in Malmo, Sweden at the IIHF World Junior Championship as a member of Team Canada. Bigras saw action in all seven games and posted a plus-2 rating for Canada, who finished fourth at the tournament.
Joseph Blandisi (Ottawa 67’s): Blandisi kicked off 2014 with a two-goal effort in a 6-5 Ottawa loss over Kingston on New Year’s Day. He was pointless in Friday night's 4-1 loss game against Windsor. Blandisi scored a huge game-tying goal late in the third period against North Bay and Ottawa went on to win 6-5 in overtime on Saturday night.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): Clarke and the Petes finished the first week of 2014 with a 2-1 record. Clarke tallied an assist in each of the week’s first two games, a 5-1 win over Belleview last Wednesday and a 4-3 victory over Barrie on Thursday. The Petes lost 9-0 to Kingston on Friday.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Martin and the Mississauga Steelheads played three games this week, going 1-2. Martin stopped 43 of 46 shots in a close 3-2 loss to Kingston on New Years Eve. He stopped 20 of 26 shots in two periods of work in a 7-1 loss to London on Friday. Martin bounced back with a strong outing on Sunday in a 3-2 win over Sault Ste. Marie. He stopped 31 of 33 shots.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): Bourke had a four-point night in the Cougars 9-5 win over the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night. His night consisted of a goal and three assists. Bourke helped Prince George to a sweep over Kamloops with a 3-1 win the next night.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): Geertsen was solid for Vancouver in Friday night’s home-and-home opener win over Kelowna. He finished the game with a plus-1 rating in a 4-2 win. Kelowna defeated Vancouver 4-2 the next night. Geertsen finished the weekend with an assist in the Giants' 4-2 victory over Tri-City.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Butcher had a strong showing for Team USA at the World Junior Championship with two goals and three assists in five games played. The United States was eliminated by Russia on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): Condon was a minus-1 for the Gophers in each of Minnesota's games in the Mariucci Classic. The Gophers were 1-0-1 in the Classic, tying Colgate 2-2 on Friday and defeating RPI 6-2 on Saturday.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffat and the Wolverines did not play this week and are back on the ice on Friday in Wisconsin against the No. 14 Badgers.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): Storm and the Huskies hosted the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 squad on Saturday night and went on to win 8-0. Storm finished the game with an assist and a plus-2 rating. The No. 3 Huskies are in Denver to play the Pioneers for two games next weekend.
Gus Young (Yale University): Young had an assist for the Bulldogs in their 3-3 tie against Vermont on Saturday night. They are back in action on Saturday at Madison Square Garden against Harvard in the Rivalry on Ice.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Holos and Lokomotiv were held scoreless in a 3-0 shutout against Admiral on Sunday. They played again Tuesday, losing 3-1 to Sibir.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Parshin had the game-winning goal in a 4-3 shootout win for Torpedo over Avtomobilist. He also had an assist in the Friday night win. On Sunday, Torpedo lost 5-4 to Ugra. Parshin was scoreless on Sunday but more than made up for it on Tuesday by scoring the game-tying goal, assisting on the game winner, and then securing the victory with a late goal. The three-point night played a huge part of a 5-3 Torpedo win over Avangard.
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Ak Bar played two games this past week, going 1-1. Vincour was not active for any of the games. Ak Bars defeated Ugra 4-2 on Friday and lost 3-1 to Avtomobilist on Sunday.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Walker was held scoreless on Saturday in Medvescak’s 3-1 loss to Donbass. Medvescak won its game against Dynamo on Monday, 4-1.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Westlund has 10 assists in 19 games this season with Farjestads J20 team. He has played four games in the SHL this season.