Monsters Earn Victory Over Peoria
It was a long time coming for Monsters goalie Jason Bacashihua, who made 20 saves Wednesday night to get his first win since October 22nd and help Lake Erie defeat the Peoria Rivermen, 3-2, at Quicken Loans Arena.
“It’s tough when you struggle a little bit, but I worked hard at every practice and made that my game,” said Bacashihua. “I felt very solid out there tonight, and I feel like I have gotten out of my slump. But it’s real important to get back in the win column.”
Codey Burki started the scoring for the Monsters, getting his second goal of the year 15:03 into the first. Skating behind the net, Jesse Boulerice backhanded a pass out to Burki in front, who chipped it over the blocker of Peoria goalie Ben Bishop to put the Monsters up, 1-0.
Monsters forward J.D. Corbin scored the second goal of the game and the Monsters second shorthanded goal of the season 2:33 into the second period. Taking the puck off the boards just inside the Rivermen blue line, Corbin fended off a Peoria defender, cut across the the crease and buried the puck between the legs of Bishop. Corbin’s first goal of the season was assisted by Tom Fritsche and Nigel Williams.
Lake Erie’s two-goal lead would last less than a minute, as Rivermen forward Jeff Cowan found the back of the net 49 seconds later. To the right of Bacashihua in the high slot, Cowan wristed a shot through a slew of sticks and legs that beat the Lake Erie goaltender.
Up only one, Boulerice found the score sheet with less than four minutes left in the second to put the Monsters back up by two. Chris Mueller shot a puck from the goal line that Bishop kicked out to the slot, right where Boulerice stood waiting to pounce on the rebound. As soon as the puck was on his stick, Boulerice fired it past the blocker of the Peoria goalie.
The Monsters would go into the third with a two goal lead, but the Rivermen clawed their way back into the game at the 7:15 mark, when Steve Wagner’s slap shot from the point beat the glove of Bacashihua, cutting the Monsters lead to one.
“It was a shot from the point and one of their guys threw his stick out like he was going to deflect it and I moved my glove an inch or two and it was enough for it to just sail over my glove and into the net,” said Bacashihua. “Obviously, you don’t want to give those goals up when you’re up 3-1 and have the momentum go their way, but like I said our guys responded well. They battled the entire 60 minutes and it was a good win for us.”
Bacashihua and the Monsters would hang on, thwarting Peoria the rest of the way, including the last 1:20, when the Rivermen pulled Bishop for a sixth attacker, to earn their eighth win of the season. The Monsters will travel to Toronto to play the Marlies on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The team returns to The Q Saturday to play the Rochester Americans at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday to host the Rivermen again at 5:00 p.m.
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"We just have to go out and do what we did today. We didn’t get any fancy goals, we put pucks in the nets off rebounds by crashing the nets. We need to go out there and grind every night and get goals like that like we did tonight and come up with a victory.” - Goaltender Jason Bacashihua