Monsters, Wolves Battle for Playoff Spot

Once again, the Lake Erie Monsters enter a day as the owners of the eighth and final playoff spot in a crowded Western Conference playoff picture as they get set to take on the Chicago Wolves at 7:30 PM at Quicken Loans Arena. The Monsters will look to put last night’s third period in the rear view; a frame that saw the Monsters lose a 4-2 lead before eventually losing the game 5-4 in overtime. The bright spot of the outcome is that the Monsters extended their unbeaten-in-regulation streak to eight games, which ties a franchise record that had been achieved twice previously; most recently during a stretch last March.

Peter MacArthur and Brad Malone have each been frequent contributors offensively for the Monsters recently; both have three-game point streaks. MacArthur recorded his first multi-point game as a Monster last night with a goal and an assist, and Malone has two goals and two assists over his last three games. Both have also been contributors on the Monsters power play.

Speaking of the power play, the Monsters allowed Milwaukee to have seven chances with the extra man last night, and Milwaukee made the Monsters pay on three occasions. Chicago’s power play is not as effective as Milwaukee’s- the Wolves are currently 30th in the 30-team American Hockey League on the power play - but with offensive players like Mark Mancari and former Monster Darren Haydar, the Monsters won’t want to give any extra space to the Wolves.

Each team boasts a formidable one-two punch in net, with Cedrick Desjardins and Gerald Coleman on the Monsters side, and Matt Climie and Eddie Lack between the pipes for Chicago. Any possible matchup should be an entertaining one, as each of the four aforementioned goaltenders carries a save percentage of .921 or better.

The Wolves enter the day one spot above the Monsters in the Western Conference, although each team has the same point total: 71. Chicago has played two fewer games than the Monsters, giving them the edge due to win percentage. The Monsters are riding their eight-game unbeaten in regulation streak as one of the hottest teams in the league, while Chicago has lost two consecutively and is just 3-6-1-0 over their last 10 games.

The Monsters and Wolves faceoff at 7:30 at Quicken Loans Arena in the St. Patrick’s Day Weekend finale presented by Ohio Lottery. All of the action can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW if you’re unable to make it to the arena.

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