Monsters Win One for the Kids

Approximately 7,000 school-aged kids – and 8,933 total fans - saw the Lake Erie Monsters (25-22-2-2) hold on for a 4-3 win over the Texas Stars (21-25-2-2) at this morning’s Student Education Day game. After building a 3-0 lead in the first period, the Monsters would see the Stars fight back to tie it up 3-3 going into the second intermission, before Patrick Rissmiller notched the winning goal for the third straight game.

The momentum was all Monsters to start the game, who quickly struck first with a goal by Greg Mauldin on the power play at 6:55. Stefan Elliott and Evan Brophey recorded the assists on the goal. Five minutes later Justin Mercier added a goal of his own. Coming in on Stars goaltender Tyler Beskorowany, Brad Malone fed a pass over to the waiting stick of Mercier who tapped it home for a 2-0 lead. Luke Walker also assisted.

Just before the first period ended, Monsters center Mark Olver constructed a 2-on-1 play of his own after intercepting a lead pass in the neutral zone, assisting Dean Strong on his second goal of the season.

With Lake Erie up 3-0, Texas came back fighting in the second. After a shaky start, Beskorowany (6-13-0-0) eventually made a whopping 40 saves on 44 shots. With the Monsters sitting on their heels late in the period, Francis Wathier started the comeback scoring with five minutes left, jabbing a puck past the five hole of Monsters goalie Gerald Coleman (8-2-0-1). Two more quick goals by Colton Sceviour and Scott Glennie tied the game 3-3 heading into the locker room for the second intermission.

Back on the ice for the third period, just 45 seconds into the frame Patrick Rissmiller sent a wrist shot past the outstretched glove of Beskorowany. The goal marked the fifth straight game Rissmiller has recorded a point, and the third straight game the veteran forward has been responsible for the game-winning goal.

Texas was not able to finish their comeback attempt as the Monsters held on for the 4-3 win.

The Monsters return to action Friday to start a home-and-home against Rochester, with the first game in New York. Catch all of the action live at 7:30 PM when Doug Plagens calls the game on AM 1220 WHKW. The Monsters then return home to host the Americans on Saturday for Cavs Night at The Q.

Notes: Monsters goaltender Gerald Coleman has started the last nine games, going 7-1-0-1, and has won eight of his 11 games in a Lake Erie uniform so far... Dean Strong has recorded points in each of the last three games, including two goals…. Greg Mauldin also has a three-point game streak going… With the win, the Monsters - who are 5-0-0-1 in the month of February - move into second place in the North Division and one point behind Peoria for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

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