Road Trip Gets Off to a Good Start

Ryan Stoa’s two goals and Trevor Cann’s individual season-high of 34 saves propelled the Lake Erie Monsters (10-10-1-1) back to the .500 mark in a 4-1 road victory over the Rockford IceHogs (8-11-1-0) Friday night. Playing the first of four meetings of the season with the IceHogs, Friday’s win snaps a Monsters three-game losing streak against Rockford dating back to last season. The win also kicks off a six-game road swing for Lake Erie.

After a scoreless first period, Greg Mauldin received a Tyson Barrie pass at the center point and one-timed a puck past Rockford goalie Alec Richards, who entered the game in relief of starter Alexander Salak just 25 seconds earlier. The goal was Mauldin’s fifth and second in as many games and quickly gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the middle frame.

Six minutes later, Hugh Jessiman, a former IceHog, tapped in his own rebound from the side of the net with one second remaining in a Monsters power play to extend the Lake Erie lead to 2-0. Brad Malone and Luke Walker assisted on Jessiman’s team-leading eighth goal of the game.

One minute later, at 7:42, Peter LeBlanc answered on a rebound for Rockford to pull the IceHogs to within a goal, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Monsters.

Ryan Stoa helped the Monsters regain a two-goal lead when he gathered a loose puck in the high slot and sent a wrist shot past Richards for his third of the season to make the score 3-1. The goal was assisted by Justin Mercier and Eric Hunter.

Stoa added a second goal in the third period at 10:33 to extend the Monsters lead to 4-1. Stoa’s fourth of the season was assisted by Malone, and was the game’s final tally.

Cann turned away a personal season-high 34 shots in improving his record to 5-8-0. Alec Richards suffered the loss in net for Rockford; he stopped 24 of 28 shots in 39:30 of work, and his record moves to 5-6-0. Salak started the game for the IceHogs, stopping all nine shots he faced in 20:24 in net.

The Monsters are back in action Sunday at 5:00 PM when they visit the Charlotte Checkers for the first time this season, followed by another meeting between the two teams the following night.

NOTES: Trevor Cann has started three straight games in net for the Monsters, winning two of the three…Former IceHog Evan Brophey’s four-game point streak snapped in the win over Rockford…Hugh Jessiman now has goals in four of his last five contests and has the outright lead in goals on the team (8)…Brad Malone now has four multi-point games this season, including three in his last four games; he has two goals and five assists in his last four games…Ryan Stoa registered his first multi-goal game of the season, and third multi-point game; he has two goals and four assists over his last four games.

Broadcaster Doug Plagens and South East Harley-Davidson take us On the Road in Rockford:

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