Monsters Trample Moose

CLEVELAND – In the third head-to-head meeting between the two teams this season, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday at The Q by a final score of 4-2. With the win, the Monsters improved to 11-4-0-2 overall this season and with a .706 points percentage, remain alone in third place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Monsters leapt to an early 1-0 lead on Wednesday as Michael Paliotta and Sonny Milano combined to set up Markus Hannikainen for an even-strength goal at 2:00 of the opening period.

In the middle frame, Lake Erie registered two rapid-fire scores less than 40 seconds apart at 7:30 and 8:05 when Daniel Zaar and Dean Kukan tallied on feeds from Paliotta, Nick Moutrey, John Ramage and Michael Chaput to make it 3-0 Monsters. Manitoba’s JC Lipon popped home a power-play goal at 13:12 of the second to make it 3-1 heading into the final frame of regulation.

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Hannikainen quickly pushed the Lake Erie lead to 4-1 with his second score of the game less than one minute into the third on feeds from T.J. Tynan and Josh Anderson before a Chase De Leo power-play goal for the Moose came at 8:42 and pushed the score to 4-2, establishing the Monsters’ final margin of victory.

Anton Forsberg’s 23 saves for Lake Erie pushed the 22 year-old Swede’s record to 7-2-0 overall this season and 4-0-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, while Eric Comrie took the loss in net for Manitoba despite a 39-save performance. The Monsters’ 43 shots on goal on Wednesday were the team’s second-most in a game this season and the most Lake Erie shots since the Monsters put 44 pucks on net in a 4-1 home win over Iowa on October 16th.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Black Friday rematch vs. the Moose with full coverage underway from The Q at 7:00 pm on AM 1420 The Answer and the Monsters Hockey Network.