Monsters Bounce Back and Exact Revenge
After a discouraging 6-0 loss to the Houston Aeros Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, the Lake Erie Monsters turned around less than 24 hours later and played a solid 60 minutes, beating the Aeros, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at The Q. With the win, the Monsters improve to 7-9-0-1 while Houston drops to 9-8-0-0.
“It was night and day from how we played yesterday,” said Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman. “I think to be a pro it’s how you bounce back from tough efforts, and it’s what you have to do to show your character. I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”
The first 20 minutes of the game was scoreless, with Weiman making four saves and Houston netminder Wade Dubielewicz turning away all seven shots from the Monsters.
Lake Erie captain Brian Willsie put the Monsters up 1-0 with his fifth goal of the season five minutes into the middle frame. From the point, defenseman Kevin Montgomery pushed the puck ahead to Willsie, who, with his back to the net, swatted a backhander into the top corner of the net past the glove of Dubielewicz. Brett Skinner picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Then, just 90 seconds later, alternate captain Darren Haydar put the Monsters up by two with his sixth of the season on the power play. To the left of Dubielewicz, Haydar directed a cross-ice feed from Skinner through the five hole of the Aeros goalie. Willsie picked up the second helper on the goal.
Before the Monsters could escape the second period with a two-goal lead, the Aeros cut Lake Erie’s advantage in half with just under four minutes left in the frame on a Ryan Gunderson power play goal. Taking a pass in the low slot from below the goal line, Gunderson fired a low wrist shot past the blocker of Weiman. Danny Irmen and Chad Rau picked up the assists on the goal, Gunderson’s second of the year.
Heading into regulation’s final 20 minutes up by a goal, the Monsters defense locked down, yielding just seven shots the rest of the way. The game would officially be iced with 58 seconds left when alternate captain Brian Fahey, clearing Weiman’s crease, swept the puck out of the Lake Erie zone and 200 feet down the ice into an empty Aeros net, giving Lake Erie the two-goal lead and the win.
Weiman ended the night making 19 saves on 20 shots while Dubielewicz turned aside 20 of 22 shots from the Monsters.
“It was tough it took a 6-0 loss to bring it out in us, but I think we should feel confident going forward that we can draw from a game like that because that is a tough team in the league,” said Willsie. Lake Erie returns to the ice Friday, when they host the Toronto Marlies at 7:30 p.m. at The Q. Tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.
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