Monsters Ready For Game 3

Tonight, the Lake Erie Monsters and Manitoba Moose play Game 3 of the Calder Cup Semifinals. Following a 2-3-2 (home-away-home) format, the series has moved to Winnipeg for the next three contests.

All Tied Up

After the Monsters posted a 6-4 victory at Quicken Loans Arena in Game 1 on Saturday afternoon, the Moose responded with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2 on Sunday.

These two teams traded wins through four regular season games, and they continue to swap victories through their first two playoff contests.

Two “Special Teams”

Lake Erie’s penalty-killing unit, which went 20-for-20 through four regular season meetings with Manitoba, has continued its success in the playoffs, denying all seven Moose power play attempts so far in this series.

Lake Erie’s penalty killing unit finished fifth in the league (84.9%) during the regular season, while Manitoba finished second (85.6%) in the circuit

On the power play, the Monsters have posted a combined 2-for-9 (22.2%) effort through the first two games of this series.

During the second period of Game 1, the Monsters recorded a shorthanded, power play and even-strength goal, respectively, in their 6-4 victory.

Players to Watch

In Game 1, Matt Ford (2G), Justin Mercier (1G, 1A) and Mark Olver (1G, 1A) recorded two points apiece.

Manitoba’s Marco Rosa figured in all four Moose goals, as he posted two goals and two assists in that contest.

In Game 2, Lake Erie’s David van der Gulik netted a power play goal for the Monsters, then set up Julien Brouillette’s go-ahead goal at 11:28 of the third period.

For Manitoba, Aaron Volpatti recorded a two-point (1G, 1A) outing in Game 2, while Marco Rosa scored a dramatic game-tying goal with 50 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. Rick Rypien scored the OT winner for the Moose.

Between the Pipes

Lake Erie’s Jason Bacashihua, who spent last season with the Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears, started Game 1 for Lake Erie, marking the second playoff game of his AHL career (2003, Utah).

Eddie Lack started Game 1 for the Moose, but after making 19 saves on 24 shots, he was relieved by Tyler Weiman late in the third period.

In Game 2, Lake Erie started John Grahame. The NHL veteran of 224 games posted 40 saves on 43 shots between regulation and overtime.

Manitoba opted to start Weiman in Game 2, and he went 34-for-36 to backstop a Moose victory.

Weiman, who played three seasons with the Monsters (2007-2010), ranks first among all-time Lake Erie goaltenders in games played (118), wins (51) and shutouts (13).

Tonight's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW, or by clicking here.

Broadcaster Ben Holden previews this evening's matchup:

 


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