Monsters Lose Close One to Division Foe

Serpentini Chevrolet
View Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

In their eighth and final contest of the year against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Lake Erie Monsters dropped a close one, losing 3-2 against the Western Conference’s third-best team Sunday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.

“I just told the guys after the game that it was a couple mistakes that cost us,” said head coach Joe Sacco. “We competed hard, but we didn’t necessarily work smart all the time. Against a team like Grand Rapids, they have over 40 wins for a reason. You have to be at the top of your game and we weren’t.”

The first period would come and go without any score, as Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman turned away 13 shots and his counterpart, Griffins netminder Jimmy Howard, stopped all six Lake Erie shots on net.

Ville Leino would open the scoring, putting the Griffins up 1-0 at the 3:29 mark of the second period with his 15th goal of the season. Coming into the Monsters zone on a break, Leino took a cross-ice feed from Aaron Gagnon. Without hesitation, Leino unleased a snap shot from just above the hash marks that hit a Monsters defender and found the top corner of the net past the glove of Weiman.

But it wouldn’t take long for the Monsters to respond. Matt Hendricks would add his 13th of the season less than five minutes later to even the score. Coming into the Grand Rapids zone and running out of options with the puck, center Phil Dupuis spotted Hendricks, who was coming late into the play. Taking the pass in stride, Hendricks, who was in on Howard alone, deked to the back hand and slid the puck past the glove of Howard.

Taking the momentum from the Hendricks goal into the third period, the Monsters would score first in the final frame, as Per Ledin’s ninth goal of the game put the Monsters up, 2-1, just 51 seconds into the third. From the half wall, Dupuis pushed the puck to Ray Macias, who was standing at the point. Macias fired a shot toward the net, and had it redirected by Ledin past the blocker of Howard. With the pair of assists, Dupuis has recorded a team-leading 10 multi-point games and has recorded seven points (2G, 5A) in his past eight games.

But Grand Rapids would come back to tie the game less than eight minutes later, as Darren Haydar’s team-leading 28th goal of the year evened the score at the 8:16 mark of the third. With the puck in the slot, Leino found Haydar off to Weiman’s left. Standing all alone, Haydar tapped in the cross-crease feed just inside the post and past the glove of Weiman, tying the game. Garrett Stafford recorded the second assist on the goal.

Tied at two, the Griffins took the lead for good at 9:57 of the third on Francis Pare’s 22nd tally of the year. Carrying the puck behind the net, Francis Lemieux spotted Pare wide open in the high slot. Throwing the puck out in front, Pare one-timed the feed, blowing it through the five hole of Weiman. Evan McGrath picked up the second assist on Pare’s tally.

The game was Lake Erie’s last of eight in the regular season against the Griffins, as the team went 4-3-0-1 against their North Division foe. The Monsters return to the ice this Thursday, when they play host to the San Antonio Rampage at 7:00 p.m. at The Q.

The Monsters now sit nine points behind the North Division’s fourth-place Toronto Marlies, who, in the fourth spot, represent the last team the division can send to the Western Conference playoffs.

“It’s another setback and a tough loss and it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth,” said Weiman. “You just have to get back to work this week and get ready for Thursday.”

Quote, Unquote

"Usually we are a tough team to play against when we have the lead and just unfortunately a couple of mistakes end up in the back of our net and that’s a team that you can’t make mistakes against. You have to play pretty flawless against them and we didn’t in the third period. Give them credit, they just kept on coming and we couldn’t hold onto the lead. It’s tough because points are at a premium right now. We had the 2-1 lead and felt pretty good. It wasn’t our best game but who cares; we were still ahead and gave ourselves a chance to win. Unfortunately we gave it away.”- Head Coach Joe Sacco

“We played hard the whole game, it was just two mental lapses and that cost you. And this time of the year you just can’t afford to have those mental lapses. They capitalized and they are a good team. They can make you pay which they did to us tonight.” - Goaltender Tyler Weiman

"All the clichés I could sit here and tell you all night. You got to try and keep things fun, that’s important and just keep stressing getting better everyday. At the rink for practice, a game, weight room, anything, just keep getting better. We have a lot of young guys down here; the veterans know it is important to show them what it is like to keep working and how to focus on forcing other teams to win." - Center Matt Hendricks


Search Archive »

  Bookmark and Share

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
March 2007
January 2007
December 2006
May 2006