Monsters Start First Three-in-Three

It’s just about as grueling as it gets in the AHL: a three-games-in-three-nights stretch, in which all three games are not played in the same venue. The Monsters have their first taste of a three-in-three beginning tonight when they host the Rochester Americans. In all, the Monsters will play five three-in-three stretches in 2011-12.

The Monsters and “Amerks”, as they’re affectionately called in Upstate New York, met eight times last season, with the Monsters taking seven of the meetings. However, this season’s Rochester squad figures to have an entirely different look because the Amerks are once again affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres. The team spent the last three seasons linked to the Florida Panthers.

For the Monsters, generating scoring chances, and capitalizing on them, is the main objective. Last weekend’s back-to-back games against Abbotsford were up-for-grabs, but the Monsters fell by a single goal each night. Furthermore, goaltender Trevor Cann was very effective; he turned away 57 of 60 shots over the two games, surrendering just three goals.

Following Friday’s game at The Q, the Monsters will take the road for a pair of matinee contests in Toronto. Toronto will also play a three-in-three this weekend, with their weekend starting on the road; in Grand Rapids against the Griffins. The trek from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids to Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum is about a six-to-seven hour drive. Even though it’s early in the season, Saturday’s 3:00 p.m. game in Toronto could cause some players to have heavy legs in the third period.

Sunday’s game is a 1:00 p.m. start in Toronto. In two games against the Marlies, the Monsters will likely get at least one look at Toronto’s young goalie Ben Scrivens. Some background on Scrivens: in four years at Cornell, he posted three seasons with a goals-against-average at or below 2.02, and as a rookie in 2010-11, he registered a .938 save percentage in 13 ECHL games, and a .924 save percentage in 33 AHL games. Getting back to that point about generating scoring chances: the Monsters will need a few of them to solve the Marlies netminder.

All of this weekend’s action can be heard on AM 1220 WHKW, as well as online at Coverage begins Friday at 7:25 p.m., Saturday at 2:50 p.m. and Sunday at 12:50 p.m.

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