The Lake Erie Monsters wrapped up last season with a 32-33-11 record and 75 points. Entering their eighth year in Cleveland, the Monsters began their 2014-15 preseason with back-to-back games against the Grand Rapids Griffins. They faced the Griffins last Friday and Saturday at neutral-site locations.
On Friday, Lake Erie walked away with its first preseason win of the weekend at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre in Windsor, Ontario. The Monsters scored three goals in the first period and went on to defeat the Griffins 5-2.
Michael Sgarbossa scored twice for Lake Erie while Joey Hishon, Markus Lauridsen and Stefan Elliott also tallied against Griffins goalie Tom McCollum. Defenseman Cody Corbett finished the game with two assists.
Sami Aittokallio and Roman Will shared time in net during Friday night’s game. Aittokallio made 10 saves on 11 shots and Will stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced.
On Saturday, the Lake Erie Monsters won their second consecutive preseason game, but this time at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., the home of the Avs' ECHL affiliate—the Fort Wayne Komets. The Monsters continued their first period goal-scoring streak by tallying three times, and the strong start was once again enough to propel them to a victory, 6-3.
Sgarbossa, Kenny Ryan, James Martin, Paul Carey and Cody Sol scored the Monsters goals.
| Lake Erie Monsters forward Michael Sgarbossa, who had four goals in the preseason. |
With assists by Hishon and Gabriel Beaupre, Ryan scored on a first-period power play against Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau. Sgarbossa also tallied during a power play in the second period against Coreau, with an assist coming from Lauridsen.
Sgarbossa finished the weekend with four goals in the two games.
Lake Erie goalie Calvin Pickard was strong in the crease in preseason game No. 2 as he made 36-of-39 saves.
The Monsters concluded the preseason with a 2-0-0 record after Saturday's win, and Lake Erie begins its regular season this Friday against Grand Rapid at Van Andel Arena in Michigan. The Monsters host the Griffins in their home opener the following night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Avalanche added two more players to the Monsters roster on Monday as it reassigned Andrew Agozzino—Lake Erie's leading scorer from last season—and Borna Rendulic. Colorado also placed Ben Street and Tomas Vincour on its injured non-roster list.
Oct. 10 at Grand Rapids (Season Opener)
Oct. 11 vs. Grand Rapids (Home Opener)
Oct. 17 at Chicago
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): The Owen Sound Attack opened its season on Sept. 24 against the Kitchener Rangers and took home a 6-1 win. Bigras had a point in the game as he assisted on captain Zach Nastasiuk’s goal in the second period. Owen Sound lost 4-3 on Sept. 26 in Kitchener’s home opener. Bigras scored during a first period power play at home against the London Knights on Sept. 27, but Owen Sound lost 4-3 in a shootout. The Attack lost 3-2 to Guelph last Saturday, but it picked up a 7-2 victory at home over Ottawa on Sunday to close out the weekend.
Nick Magyar (Kitchener Rangers): The Kitchener Rangers lost 6-1 on Sept 24 to the Owen Sound Attack, but they gained a 4-3 win against the Attack on Sept 26 in their home opener. The Rangers won 4-1 against the London Knights last Friday, but they lost 4-3 on Sunday to Oshawa. Magyar had an assist against the Generals.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Martin made 36 saves to help the Mississauga Steelheads beat the Oshawa Generals 5-4 in overtime on Sept 26 to open the season. On Friday, the Steelheads secured a 4-3 win against the Niagara IceDogs, with Martin stopping 51-of-54 shots. The Steelheads fell for the first time this season on Sunday to the Sarnia Sting. Martin walked away with 30 saves in the 2-1 loss.
Kyle Wood (North Bay Battalion): The North Bay Battalion fell to the Barrie Colts 5-4 on Sept. 26 with Kyle Wood scoring half of the team's goals, tallying twice on the power play. Wood received two penalty minutes in North Bay's 3-2 victory over Peterborough on Friday. The Battalion beat the Sudbury Wolves 6-2 on Sunday in a contest that included a first-period tally from Wood.
Connor Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels): Bleackley picked up a goal and an assist in Red Deer's season-opening 7-1 win on Sept. 27 against the Kootenay Ice. Red Deer earned another win the next day, defeating Calgary 3-1 in a game that Bleackley did not play in. The Moosejaw Warriors beat the Red Deer Rebels 3-0 last Thursday, and the Brandon Wheat Kings picked up a 7-1 win against them on Saturday. The Rebels were able to end the weekend on a high note with a 4-3 victory against the Regina Pats on Sunday. Bleackley had an assist in the game.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): The Vancouver Giants began their season with three straight wins as they defeated Victoria 3-1 on Sept. 20, Portland 5-3 on Sept. 26 and Victoria 5-3 on Sept. 28. Geertsen had an assist in last Wednesday's 7-5 loss against the Kelowna Rockets. The Swift Current Broncos beat the Giants 5-4 on Oct. 3, but the Giants rebounded with a 6-1 victory against the Prince George Cougars on Sunday in a game where Geertsen had a helper.
Julien Nantel (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies): Nantel had one goal in the Huskies' 4-2 loss against Val-d’Or, the defending QMJHL champion, on Sept. 10. Rouyn-Noranda fell to Victoriaville on Sept. 26, but Nantel once against scored a goal. The Huskies fell to Gatineau 3-2 Sept 27. On Thursday, Nantel had two assists in a 5-0 shutout against Halifax. Nantel recorded another assist in a 6-4 loss on Friday against Moncton. Rouyn-Noranda shutout Charlottetown 7-0 on Sunday, with Nantel scoring a goal.
Alexis Pepin (Gautineau Olympiques): The Olympiques are first in the QMJHL West Division with a 6-2-2 record. Pepin was recently reassigned back to Gautineau after participating in the Avalanche's training camp. Pepin has yet to play this season as he is recovering from an injury. The Olympiques picked up two wins last week, defeating Chicoutimi 5-2 on Friday and Baie-Comeau 5-4 on Saturday
Will Butcher (University of Denver): The University of Denver beat the McGill University Redmen 3-2 in their lone exhibition game of the season. Butcher had four shots in the victory. The Pioneers open their NCAA season on Friday, Oct. 17 against Rensselaer.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): St. Cloud State played in its only preseason game of the season last Saturday and beat Trinity Western University 8-0. Storm had an assist in the contest. The No. 6/7 ranked Huskies open their season this weekend with two home games against Colgate.
Maximilian Pajpach (Tappara U20, Ligga Jr. A): Pajpach has yet to appear in a game with Tappara's Under-20 team in the Ligga Jr. A league. Tappara U20 is 6-2 this season after the team lost 7-4 to Ilves on Saturday.
Anton Lindholm (Skelleftea AIK, SHL): Lindholm has played in six games and has one assist with Skelleftea. Skelleftea defeated Farjestad 2-1 last Thursday and Frolunda 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday. Lindholm picked up his first assist of the season in the shootout victory.
Wilhelm Westlund (Djurgarden, SHL/Vita Hasten, Allsvenskan): Westlund has played in five games and has recorded two assists while on loan from Djurgarden (SHL) to Vita Hasten of the Allsvenskan league.
Luke Walker (Graz 99ers, Eishockey Liga): Walker has played in eight games and has three goals and three assists. He had an assist in the 99ers' 3-0 win over Vienna on Sunday.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Holos has played in 12 games and has two goals and two assists. He had a goal in Lokomotiv's 4-2 win over Dynamo Moscow on Thursday. Lokomotiv fell 3-2 to Vityaz on Sunday.
Denis Parshin (Avangard Omsk): Parshin has played in 13 games and has eight goals and 10 assists. Parshin had three assists this past week as Avangard went 1-2. Parshin had two assists in Ugra's 3-2 loss on Thursday and had another helper in a 4-3 win against Neftekhimik on Saturday. Avangard fell 3-1 to Lada on Monday.