Monsters in OKC for a Pair

Three wins and counting, as well as four consecutive overtime games, for the Lake Erie Monsters as they look to accomplish something they haven’t yet this season: beat the Oklahoma City Barons. After falling in the two scheduled regular season meetings at Quicken Loans Arena- both in the month of January- the Monsters will begin a two-game set against the Barons tonight; concluding the season series Saturday night. Both games can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW, with the opening faceoff scheduled for 8:00 PM Eastern each night.

Currently sitting in the 10th spot in the Western Conference and set to begin back-to-back games against Oklahoma City, who has owned the top spot in the conference for the vast majority of the season, the Monsters enter the weekend just a point back of eighth place Houston, and just two points back of San Antonio and Peoria; sixth and seventh place respectively. The Monsters and Barons are also coming into the weekend from different directions.

With the Monsters having won three straight, and earning points in four straight games, they’re playing some of their most sound hockey of the season. Cedrick Desjardins and Gerald Coleman duo is making big saves when called upon. Desjardins has stopped 63 of the last 65 pucks sent his way over two starts, both wins, and the Monsters are minimizing the extra opportunities their opponents are generating. Going back to Sunday, Cameron Gaunce’s overtime winner and Greg Mauldin’s shorthanded goal in regulation, just the third shorthanded goal for the Monsters this season and first since December 28, 2011, show the Monsters opportunistic nature as of late. They’ve had to be opportunistic due to the power play largely being held in check lately. The Monsters are 0-18 on the power play over their last five games, but have compensated on the penalty kill, where they’re a perfect 8-8 over their last two games; both wins against Charlotte.

Oklahoma City enters the weekend perhaps struggling more than they have at any other point this season. The Barons return home from six straight games on the road, and they were just 1-3-1-1 over that time. Over their last 10 games, the Barons are 3-5-1-1, and goalie David LeNeveu has started seven of those games, going 3-2-1-1. At 0-2-1-1, the Barons are winless in their last four, and with the Monsters 3-0-0-1 over their last four games, the Monsters are in the best position possible to pick up their first wins of the season over Oklahoma City.

This weekend, which concludes with Sunday evening’s game in San Antonio, marks the sixth and final three-games-in-three-nights stretch for the Monsters this season. All three games can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW.

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