The Lake Erie Monsters opened their 2013-14 campaign with three games in three days last weekend. The Monsters went 1-2 over the three games, splitting two games with the Abbotsford Heat and losing to the Toronto Marlies on Sunday.
After taking a 1-0 first-period lead Friday night from a Bryan Lerg goal, the Heat scored three times in the second period and twice more in the third stanza to take a 5-2 win. Sami Aittokallio got the start in the cage for the Monsters and finished with 20 saves. Brad Malone also scored.
Lake Erie bounced back the next night with a 3-2 win over the Heat. Abbotsford scored just 31 seconds into Saturday's contest but power-play goals from Stefan Elliott and Malone later in the period gave the Monsters a 2-1 lead entering the first intermission. The Heat would tie the game in the second period, but Elliott would score his second of the content off a deflection to give Lake Erie back the lead at 10:08 of the third.
The Heat would put on pressure late, but Monsters goaltender Calvin Pickard, who stopped 29 shots, didn't allow anything else to get past him and made an acrobatic glove save with three seconds left to solidify the win.
"I kind of just stuck my glove back and got pretty lucky," Pickard said afterwards of the save. "I thought we deserved [the win]. We were skating better tonight then we did last night and our penalty kill was huge as well. It was nice to get the win."
The Monsters concluded their opening weekend in Toronto on Sunday. While Lake Erie lost 5-1, two of Toronto's tallies were empty-net goals. Mark Olver scored the lone goal for the Monsters, while Pickard finished with 28 saves.
Lake Erie now returns home for three straight games, beginning on Friday against Rockford.
Oct. 11 vs. Rockford
Oct. 12 vs. Rockford
Oct. 18 vs. Hamilton
Entering their second season in the Central Hockey League, the Denver Cutthroats opened up their 2013-14 training camp on Monday at Edge Ice Arena in Littleton.
Denver's training camp will be at Edge Ice Arena until Wednesday before the activities move to the Denver Coliseum on Thursday for the Green vs. White game. The intra-squad scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The Cutthroats begin their preseason schedule on Friday at home against the Rapid City Rush before the clubs meet again the next night in South Dakota. The first game of the regular season for Denver is Oct. 18 against Tulsa.
Oct. 11 vs. Rapid City (Preseason)
Oct. 12 at Rapid City (Preseason)
Oct. 18 vs. Tulsa
Chris Bigras (Owen Sound Attack): Bigras had an assist in Owen Sound's 4-2 win on Saturday night over Kitchener. The Attack lost 4-2 on Wednesday to London and 7-1 to Guelph on Friday.
Joseph Blandisi (Ottawa 67's): Blandisi had an assist for Ottawa in its 7-4 loss to Kingston on Friday night. The 67's lost 4-1 to Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday before ending their two-game skid on Sunday with a 3-2 win over Peterborough.
Michael Clarke (Peterborough Petes): Clarke scored his first goal of the season in Peterborough's 7-4 loss to Sudbury. The Petes also lost 7-1 to Oshawa on Thursday and 3-2 to Ottawa on Sunday.
Spencer Martin (Mississauga Steelheads): Martin made 26 saves to help Mississauga defeat Barrie 3-2 in a shootout on Friday. He stopped two of the four shooters he faced in the tiebreaker. On Sunday, Martin made 35 saves in a 4-1 loss to the North Bay Battalion.
Troy Bourke (Prince George Cougars): Bourke helped the Cougars to a 2-1 week with wins over Victoria and Kamloops. Bourke had an assist in Prince George's 2-0 victory last Tuesday over Victoria. The Royals responded the next night with a 1-0 win, but the Cougars picked up their second shutout of the week on Saturday, winning 2-0 at Kamloops.
Mason Geertsen (Vancouver Giants): After missing three games with an injury, Geertsen returned to the lineup last Friday for Vancouver. He had five penalty minutes from a fighting major in the contest, which the Giants lost 4-3 to Brandon. Vancouver lost 2-1 to Moose Jaw the next night as well.
Will Butcher (University of Denver): Butcher received his first taste of college hockey on Sunday night as he and his Denver Pioneers team faced the University of New Brunswick in an exhibition game. Butcher finished with five shots in a 2-1 loss for DU. The Pioneers' first regular season games are Friday and Saturday versus Merrimack.
Nate Condon (University of Minnesota): Condon helped Minnesota to a 5-1 victory on Saturday over Lethbridge. Condon finished with three shots and a plus-3 rating in the game. The Gophers open the regular season on Oct. 11 at home against Mercyhurst in the Ice Breaker Tournament. Minnesota will play either Clarkson or New Hampshire in the consolation or championship game of the tournament on Saturday.
Luke Moffatt (University of Michigan): Moffatt and the Michigan Wolverines lost 2-1 in their exhibition contest on Friday to Waterloo. Moffatt had five shots in the game. Michigan opens the season at home on Thursday against Boston College before playing RIT in Rochester on Saturday.
Ben Storm (St. Cloud State University): Storm and the St. Cloud State Huskies begin the regular season at home this weekend against Bemidji State University.
Gus Young (Yale University): Young and the Bulldogs will take on Ontario Tech in an exhibition contest on Saturday, Oct. 19. Yale, the defending national champions, opens the season on Oct. 25 against Brown at the Liberty Invitational in Newark, N.J.
Jonas Holos (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl): Holos and Lokomotiv picked up two wins over the past week, a 3-1 victory over Dynamo MSK on Thursday and a 1-0 win in overtime on Monday against Metallurg.
Denis Parshin (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod): Parshin's Torpedo squad lost 3-1 to Atlant last Thursday.
Tomas Vincour (Ak Bars Kazan): Vincour and Ak Bars lost 3-1 to SKA on Thursday.
Luke Walker (Medvescak Zagreb): Walker had an assist in Medvescak's 4-0 win over Avangard last Wednesday.
Wilhelm Westlund (Farjestads BK): Westlund's Farjestads team went 2-1 over the past week, as it won 3-1 over AIK on Wednesday and defeated HV71 1-0 on Saturday. The club lost 3-1 to Vaxjo Lakers on Friday.