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Monsters Begin Round 1 of Calder Cup Playoffs at Rockford

Fresh off a regular-season in which the Lake Erie Monsters posted a 43-22-6-5 record and set new franchise records for points (97) and home victories (25), the Monsters, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck on their second-ever Calder Cup Playoff appearance on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL vs. the Rockford IceHogs, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, in game one of a best-of-five game Central Division Semi-Final series.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 5-2 home win over the Charlotte Checkers on April 15th, the Lake Erie Monsters enter their second-ever Calder Cup Playoff appearance having claimed victory in three consecutive games and in nine of their final 11 regular-season contests. The Monsters capped the season at 43-22-6-5 and with a .638 points percentage, finished in second place in the Central Division standings and third in the Western Conference. The Monsters were led in scoring in the 2015-16 regular season by centers T.J. Tynan (6-40-46) and Michael Chaput (16-29-45), and right wing Daniel Zaar (21-22-43).

ICEHOGS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 7-1 home win over the Milwaukee Admirals on April 15th, the Rockford IceHogs charge into the postseason riding a three-game winning streak and outscoring their opponents by a combined 11-1 margin over that span. At 40-22-10-4 and with a .618 points percentage, the IceHogs finished the 2015-16 regular season in third place in the central Division and fourth place in the Western Conference. Rockford was led in scoring this season by centers Vinnie Hinostroza (18-33-51) and Mark McNeill (25-23-48), and defenseman Ville Pokka (10-35-45).

KEYS TO SUCCESS

  • FLIP THE SCRIPT: The home team won every meeting between the Monsters and IceHogs during the 2015-16 regular season, a trend Lake Erie will look to reverse in Rockford with Wednesday’s game one.
  • ATTACK MAC: The Monsters will look to pepper the reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Rockford goaltender Mac Carruth, early and often on Wednesday. Despite his hot play as of late, Carruth was winless (0-2-1) in four appearances vs. Lake Erie during the 2015-16 regular season.
  • AMAZIN’ ANDY: Monsters right wing Josh Anderson led all Lake Erie skaters with seven head-to-head points (1-6-7) in six appearances vs. Rockford this year.

SEASON SERIES: In an eight-game season series vs. Rockford this year, the Monsters posted a 4-4-0-0 overall record and a record of 0-4-0-0 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Overall, Lake Erie shows a -2 goal differential (20/22) vs. the IceHogs and a -10 goal differential (3/13) vs. Rockford on the road this year.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Anton Forsberg tied a Monsters franchise record for wins this season, posting a 23-10-5 record in a team-high 41 appearances with two shutouts, a 2.40 GAA and a .914 S%. In his last appearance, Forsberg stopped 22 of the 23 pucks he faced in a 3-1 home win over Charlotte on April 14th. Vs. Rockford in the regular season, Forsberg went 3-2-0 in six appearances with a 2.05 GAA and a .926 S%. On the road in 2015-16, Forsberg went 7-6-3 in 18 games played with a 3.22 GAA and a .893 S%. Joonas Korpisalo went 8-8-2 in 18 appearances for Lake Erie this season with two shutouts, a 2.36 GAA and a .913 S%. In his last outing, Korpisalo stopped 21 of the 23 pucks he faced in a 5-2 home win over Charlotte on April 15th. In his only appearance vs. Rockford this season, Korpisalo earned a record of 0-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and a .933 S% with those numbers stemming from a 3-1 road loss to the IceHogs on November 22nd. On the road this season, Korpisalo went 5-5-0 in ten appearances with one shutout, a 2.55 GAA and a .912 S%.

The reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Mac Carruth went 6-5-2 for the IceHogs in 17 appearances during the regular season with two shutouts, a 2.30 GAA and a .926 S%. In his last appearance, Carruth stopped 26 of the 27 pucks he faced in a 7-1 home win over Milwaukee on April 16th. Vs. the Monsters this season, Carruth went 0-2-1 in four appearances with a 2.91 GAA and a .913 S%. At home this year, Carruth went 3-2-0 in six appearances with one shutout, a 2.89 GAA and a .922 S%. In 36 combined appearances for Charlotte and Rockford this season, Drew MacIntyre went 13-16-3 with one shutout, a 3.08 GAA and a .892 S%. In his last appearance, MacIntyre stopped 25 of the 30 pucks he faced in a 5-4 road loss to the Manitoba Moose on April 10th. Vs. Lake Erie this year, MacIntyre went 2-2-0 in four appearances for Charlotte and Rockford with a 3.69 GAA and a .882 S%. At home for Rockford this year, MacIntyre went 2-0-2 in four appearances with a 2.22 GAA and a .927 S%.