Three in First Period Leads to Road Win

After playing five of their six games so far in December at home, the Monsters found success quick on the road on Friday. Lake Erie broke a five-game losing streak with a relatively easy 4-1 win over the Moose in Manitoba.

The Monsters used one of their most productive periods of the season to gain an early advantage - one they would not relinquish - over the Moose.  The teams were even-paced though the middle of the opening period, but then the Monsters would unleash an offensive onslaught over the span of seven minutes to end the first.  Jeff Jillson scored his second of the season at the 11:41 mark off passes from David Jones and Mark McCutcheon.  The assist was Jones' fifth point in the last four games.

At 17:58, defenseman Wes O'Neill would also net his second score of the season.  Matt Hussey and Brent Kelly were credited with the assists.  The first period - and Lake Erie's scoring streak - came to an end after Eric Healey found the back of the net unassisted at 18:54. 

After such a high-scoring opening period, the second looked like it would not see a score at all.  Neither team was able to light the lamp until, with just over a minute left in the stanza, Healey scored his second of the game off a dish from Kelly. 

The third period went just as the previous one did, again with neither team finding an advantage.  Lake Erie held the 4-0 edge until the 17:37 mark, when Danny Groulx finally put Manitoba on the scoreboard on the power play, resulting in the 4-1 final.

After replacing Jason Bacashihua just seven minutes into the game, Mike Wall was nearly perfect in goal for Lake Erie.  He deflected 28 of the 29 shots he faced.  Bacashihua blocked all five shots he saw.  Cory Schneider and Julien Ellis split time in goal for the Moose, combining for 15 saves on 19 shots.

Healey's dual scores gives him sole possession of the top spot on the Monsters points leaderboard.  His 17 points (8g, 9a) is tops on the team, followed by Chris Stewart and Jones. 

The Monsters are now 8-14-1-3, and face the Moose again at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (ET).  After Friday's win, Lake Erie holds the 2-1 season series advantage.


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