Trio Helps Winning Continue on the Road

Photos courtesy of W2 Photography
The winning ways continued for the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night, as they defeated the Heat in Abbotsford, 3-2. It was the fourth straight victory for the team, who have won 12 of their last 16. The line of Ryan Stoa, Brian Willsie and T.J. Hensick led the way with a combined seven points on the night.

Lake Erie is on the tail end of a six-game road trip, where they are 4-1 so far and finish with another game against the Heat on Saturday. The Monsters are now 20-19-0-4 on the year and just two points behind fourth-placed Abbotsford in the North Division. The four straight road wins is a season high - and current AHL leading streak - and four straight overall ties for a season-best.

Willsie put the visiting Monsters on the board first, notching a power play marker 6:49 into the first period. He was assisted by Stoa and Brett Skinner.

It would take almost another 20 minutes before the score would change, finally doing so at the 5:47 mark of the second when Riley Armstrong found the back of net for the Heat. His game-tying goal was assisted by Colin Stuart and Keith Aulie.

Hensick would see to it that the score did not remain even for long. His goal at 13:03 of the middle frame put the Monsters back up, 2-1. Stoa and Brock Bradford were credited with the helpers.

Four minutes later the Heat knotted the score again, this time behind a power play goal from Staffan Kronwall. Stuart and Cam Cunning assisted at 17:17 of the second period, sending the teams to the locker room all tied up at two goals apiece.

It would take until midway through the third period for Lake Erie to regain the advantage, which they did at the 10:06 mark with a power play goal from Stoa. The rookie leads the Monsters and all AHL first-year players with 18 goals and registered his sixth multi-point game of the season. Willsie and Hensick combined for the assists on the game-winning goal.

Willsie notched his eighth overall and third straight multi-point game of the year with a goal and an assist and has put up points in the past three games, tallying seven points (2G, 5A) during that span. Hensick recorded his 10th multi-point game and has registered points in the past five straight games, putting up eight points (3G, 5A) in that time.

Monsters netminder Tyler Weiman recorded his third straight win and ninth in his last 12 games, notching 32 saves on the 34 shots he faced. Heat goalie Leland Irving made 27 saves on 30 shots in the loss. It was the first-ever win against Abbotsford in Lake Erie franchise history.

The Monsters wrap up their six-game/nine-day road trip with another game in Abbotsford on Saturday before heading into the AHL All-Star break. They will then return home on Friday, January 22nd to host the Texas Stars.

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