Fifth Straight Win Puts Monsters in First

Photos courtesy of Peoria Rivermen
The Lake Erie Monsters finished their weekend three-in-three set in Peoria on Sunday, a game that also wrapped up a five-game road swing for the team. Sunday the Monsters continued their recent road success, defeating the Rivermen 4-3 for their fifth straight win.

Combined with a Manitoba loss earlier in the day, the win pushed the Monsters into a tie with the Moose for first place in the North Division with 82 points. The victory also tied the franchise records for both overall win streak and road win streak (5 games).

Peoria got the scoring started for the night when Graham Mink lit the lamp at 7:22 of the first period, assisted by Chris Langkow.

Lake Erie evened the score with a Julian Talbot power play tally at 11:59, which was assisted by Julien Brouillette. Talbot has now scored in four of the last five games.

Despite the Monsters outshooting the Rivermen 12-8 in the first 20 minutes, the teams went to the locker room with the score knotted at 1-1.

That would be the last time the score would be tied. Matt Ford scored at 6:51 of the second to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead, one they would not relinquish. Matt Generous and Cameron Gaunce were credited with the assists. With the helper, Gaunce has posted points in six straight games (1g, 8a).

Exactly four minutes later, David van der Gulik would increase the Monsters lead to 3-1. His goal at 10:51 of the second period was assisted by Ben Walter and goaltender John Grahame. Van der Gulik now has points in five straight games for Lake Erie (3g, 5a). Walter has also recorded at least a point in five straight (1g, 7a) and in 13 of the last 14 (3g, 17a). Grahame has now posted two assists on the season.

Lake Erie again outshot Peoria in the period, this time 11-8, and finished the middle frame with the 3-1 lead.

Anthony Nigro cut the Rivermen deficit back to one goal with his marker at 4:19 of the third period. He was assisted by Daryl Boyle and Derrick Nesbitt.

Greg Mauldin put the Monsters back up by three with his unassisted goal at 11:40 of the third. Sunday marked Mauldin's fifth straight game with a goal and sixth with a point (6g, 1a). Mauldin has recorded points in 11 of the last 12 games (9g, 4a).

Peoria would score once more before the end of regulation. Akim Aliu converted on the power play with 25 seconds left in the game, resulting in the final 4-3 score.

Grahame won his third straight in goal for the Monsters, with 30 saves on 33 shots. His counterpart Jake Allen stopped 27 of 31 shots in the Peoria loss.

The Monsters will return home to host the Rochester Americans on Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

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