Trio Leads Monsters to Second Straight Win

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In front of a season-high 12,389 fans at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night, the Lake Erie Monsters beat the Hamilton Bulldogs, 3-1. The win was the Monsters second in a row, after a 3-0 win Friday night in Syracuse. The back-to-back wins come against North Division foes, both of whom currently pace Lake Erie in the standings. It would be the trio of Phil Dupuis, Matt Hendricks and T.J. Galiardi who would propel the Monsters to the home win on Saturday.

Dupuis started the scoring off with his eighth goal of the season, a power play marker at 6:31 of the first period. Holding the puck on the faceoff circle to the left of Bulldogs goalie Marc Denis, Dupuis fired a shot that missed on the short side, but took a fortuitous Monsters bounce, hitting the end boards and banking off Denis and into the net. Hendricks and Galiardi earned assists on the goal.

“The crowd was unbelievable. We got in pretty late last night and we were all pretty tired when we showed up at the rink this morning,” said Dupuis. “But when we got here tonight and we walked in to see a big crowd it makes us want to play well in front of the fans. We wanted to give them a win and show them that we have a good team here.”

The Bulldogs would bounce back just five minutes later, when right wing Mike Glumac netted his 15th goal of the year. Center Yanick Lehoux, from below the goal line, backhanded a puck that careened off a skate in front and bounced to the stick of Glumac, who buried it past Lake Erie goalie Tyler Weiman. Greg Stewart was credited with the second assist on the goal.

The second period would go scoreless, but only due to the play of Weiman. Coming in on a shorthanded break, Stewart threw a cross-ice pass to Hamilton captain Kyle Chipchura. Instead of finding the back of the net, Chipchura’s one-timer found the Monsters crest on the jersey of Weiman, who pushed off from one side of the net to the other to rob Chipchura.

“Tyler Weiman has been solid all year so I’m not really surprised with that,” said Dupuis. Added head coach Joe Sacco on Weiman’s play, “Toward the end I think we got a little bit mentally fatigued but when we needed a big save Weiman came up enormous and that’s what he’s there for.”

Coming into regulation’s final frame with the game tied, it would once again be the heroics of Dupuis, Galiardi and Hendricks who would help put the Monsters ahead, 2-1, at the 5:28 mark of the third. When a Galiardi shot bounced off Denis, it found the stick of Dupuis, who buried it. Hendricks picked up the second assist on the goal.

The Monsters and Weiman would battle through numerous Hamilton offensive charges to keep ahead. Then, with 12 seconds left and the puck at center ice, Dupuis would make a diving effort to push the puck ahead to Hendricks. Picking up the puck at center, Hendricks would stride ahead and sizzle the disc into an empty Hamilton net to ice the 3-1 victory.

“I told the guys after the game tonight that it was a great team win and we had everyone pulling in the same direction,” said Sacco. “We got contributions from every player in the lineup. Our defense, power play and penalty killing were all good and that’s what you need, especially playing against a team like Hamilton.”

Now the Monsters will head to Manitoba to play the Moose in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. In their only game against the Moose so far this season, the Monsters lost, 1-0, on January 17th at The Q.

“We need to enjoy what we did this weekend first and tomorrow we fly to Manitoba so we need to get some rest,” said Sacco. “We’ll just need to keep up the work ethic we’ve had recently. I really like the excitement and enthusiasm we have in the locker room. We seem to really be coming together as a team right now.”

Sights and Sounds
 
Phil Dupuis Interview
 
Coach Joe Sacco Interview
Quote, Unquote

"Matt Hendricks had his best game of the season tonight even after coming back from injury. He is getting his conditioning and timing back. He brings a load of energy to and he always plays the game hard. He battles out there so it’s a nice addition to have him back in the line up on a regular basis.” - Head Coach Joe Sacco

 


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