Monsters Can't Hang On to Early Lead

Photos courtesy of Greg Hamil
Unfortunately and coincidentally, the Lake Erie Monsters began a seven-game, 11-day Western Conference road trip on the NHL's trade deadline day. Which meant new faces joining the team and old ones leaving. Goaltender John Grahame joined the team in Rockford on Wednesday afternoon, and started in goal Wednesday night for the Monsters, recording 22 saves on 25 shots. Forward Kevin Porter also joined Lake Erie on Wednesday, while forward Cedric McNicholl left to go to his new team. Monsters winger Ryan Stoa was also called up to the Colorado Avalanche earlier.

Despite all of the coming and going, Lake Erie came out of the gates with guns blazing on Wednesday, scoring twice within the first five minutes of the game to take an early lead. Unfortunately for the Monsters, the IceHogs would score in the second and third periods to escape with a 3-2 win. Lake Erie is now 29-28-0-5 on the season.

T.J. Hensick quickly put the visiting Monsters on the scoreboard, lighting the lamp just 31 seconds into the game. Darren Haydar and Randy Rowe assisted on the score.

Less than four minutes later, Bracken Kearns evened the score for his IceHogs. The shorthanded goal at 4:14 was helped by Jack Skille and Richard Petiot.

Forty seconds later the Monsters took the lead again behind a power play goal from Justin Mercier. The marker at 4:54 of the first was assisted by Rowe and Brett Skinner.

The remaining 15 minutes of the opening frame would go by scoreless, sending the teams to the intermission with Lake Erie ahead, 2-1.

The home team knotted the score seven minutes into the second period. Evan Brophey converted on the power play at the 7:20 mark, assisted by Pete MacArthur.

Brophey's goal would be the only one of the middle period, as the second would end with the team's tied at two goals apiece.

More than half the third period went by before the score would change again. Finally at 11:27 Bryan Bickell scored on the man advantage, helped by Kearns and Brian Connelly.

Rockford held the Monsters to just five shots in the third, securing their 3-2 victory.

IceHogs goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced.


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