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Two in a Row to Start the SeasonTweet
Weiman was tested early and often, seeing 15 shots in the first period alone. But if there was any rust on his pads, it certainly didn’t show. By the end of the game, Weiman made 40 saves on 43 shots, putting the Monsters atop the North Division with a 2-0 record and in a three-way tie for first place with Syracuse and Hamilton.
“There were a number of saves he (Weiman) made that were amazing,” said forward Nathan Smith, whose game winning goal helped Weiman’s efforts. “They had a lot of shots that were in good position but Weiman was just quick on them and he is the one that won us the game.”
Weiman wouldn’t be the only hero of the game, however. With the contest tied at three and time running out, Smith tapped in a remarkable cross-crease feed from Chris Durno to give the Monsters the win with :57 seconds left in the game. Mike Vernace also added his second assist of the season on Smith’s goal.
Enforcer Jesse Boulerice started the scoring five minutes into the game by poking home a Chris Stewart rebound behind Marlies goaltender Justin Pogge. T.J. Hensick had the second assist on Boulerice’s goal.
It wouldn’t take long for the Marlies to respond. Andre Deveaux would find Bates Battaglia streaking down the slot and put the puck right on his tape. Without hesitation, Battaglia one-timed the feed past the low glove side of goaltender Weiman to knot the game at one.
Team captain Brian Willsie would make sure the Marlies momentum would be short lived. With just under four minutes left in the first period and on the power play, Willsie would squeeze a Hensick rebound between the arm of Pogge and the post, giving the Monsters a 2-1 lead. Durno was also credited with an assist on the goal.
It would be the play of Weiman that would lead to the next Monsters goal when Hensick put Lake Erie up 3-1 halfway through the second frame. After waffle-boarding away a shot from the top of the circle, Kyle Cumiskey and Aaron MacKenzie would transition the puck up to Hensick. Racing down the right wing on a semi-break away, Hensick would fire a low wrist shot past the blocker of Pogge.
Just 24 seconds into the final period, Richard Petiot would beat Weiman, making it a one goal game. After fighting off numerous Marlie scoring attempts, Weiman was beat for a second time in the third when Darryl Boyce chipped a puck that was on edge over the shoulder of the goalie into the top corner of the net.
Despite losing the lead in the third, Monsters head coach Joe Sacco was pleased with the end result of his team’s efforts and the goaltending he got from Weiman and Bacashihua over the weekend.
“Tonight we had a good lead going into the third period,” said Sacco. “We talked about not playing in there hands, not making the game hard on ourselves and we did that by making some bad decisions and letting them come back into the game because of our puck decisions. But we were resilient in our efforts tonight, and we found a way to come up with a huge goal in the end. Obviously it is a great weekend for us and a great start, and our goaltenders deserve a lot of credit.”
The Monsters will continue their five game home stand on Friday, October 17th, when they host the Norfolk Admirals at 7:30 p.m.
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