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With the Lake Erie loss and a Toronto Marlies win, the Monsters drop to sixth place in the North Division standings, falling seven points behind the Manitoba Moose for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North. Just 34 seconds into the game, the Americans took an early lead on Evgeny Dadonov’s 15th of the season. Carrying the puck into the Monsters zone, Clay Wilson fed Dadonov a pass in the high slot that the Russian winger one-timed over the blocker of Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman.
Two minutes after striking first, the Americans padded their lead to two, when Jordan Henry beat Weiman in tight. Circling the Monsters net, Dadonov waited for Henry to get open before dishing a pass to him mere feet from Weiman’s crease. With Lake Erie’s goalie down in the butterfly position, Henry flipped the puck over Weiman’s glove and into the net. Luke Beaverson picked up the second assist on the goal.
After Henry’s goal, the rest of the period would go by without score, but not without chance. The Monsters were unable to convert on four first period power play opportunities, and went into the second period trailing by two.
Despite putting 13 shots on Rochester goalie Tyler Plante and getting three power play chances in the second period, the Monsters were unable to get on the scoreboard in the middle frame, and would head into regulation’s final 20 minutes still down by a pair.
Battling back, the Monsters scored less than two minutes into the third period, when Brian Fahey netted his ninth of the season at the 1:40 mark. With the puck behind the net, Phil Dupuis threw a pass that found its way through a variety of bodies in front and trickled out into the slot. Closing from his spot at the point, Fahey picked up the puck and flicked a wrist shot that banked off the right post and into the net. Ray Macias picked up the second assist on the goal.
The Monsters would keep the pressure on, and, after Fahey’s goal, would even have a brief five-on-three power play, but would be unable to beat Plante again.
With two-and-a-half minutes left in regulation, Mike York netted his 11th of the season to ice the game for the Americans. Coming around the net with the puck, Jeff Taffe spotted York in the low slot to Weiman’s left. A pinpoint pass, York one-timed Taffe’s feed past the low blocker of Weiman for Rochester’s third and final tally of the game. Wilson picked up the secondary assist.
Weiman finished the night making 18 saves on 21 shots while Plante turned away 24 of 25.
“We just have to brush this one off and put it behind us,” said Monsters assistant coach Dan Laperriere. “We will take it game-by-game and hopefully win a big one on the road. We will start with the first one and then reassess where we are.”
The Monsters return to the ice Friday, when they travel to Texas to take on the Houston Aeros at 8:35 p.m. The team wraps up the weekend with a pair of games in San Antonio, facing the Rampage at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The team returns to The Q on Wednesday, April 7th for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Abbotsford Heat. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.
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