Monsters Get the Win Over Rockford

Two third-period goals and 34 saves from Cedrick Desjardins vaulted the Monsters to a 2-1 victory over the Rockford IceHogs Friday at Quicken Loans Arena in front of 7,695 fans. In the second-to-last weekend of the regular season, both teams are fighting for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Entering the game on Friday, the Monsters were tied for ninth place and were two points ahead of Rockford.

Ryan Stoa opened the scoring for the Monsters early in the final frame, giving him three goals in two games, and Brad Malone scored the eventual game-winning tally midway through the third. Rockford was riding a six-game unbeaten-in-regulation streak into Friday’s game.

With the teams scoreless through the first 40 minutes of action, the goaltenders were matching each other save-for-save. Desjardins stopped 24 pucks in the first two periods, while his IceHogs counterpart Carter Hutton turned away 26 shots in the first and second.

Stoa gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead at 1:56 of the third period when a Rockford pass bounced his way as he emerged from the penalty box. Stoa, with one defender to beat, found an open lane, faked to his backhand, and slipped the puck underneath Hutton for his 14th goal of the season.

At 5:50 of the third period, Rockford’s Brian Fahey, a former Monster, took a clear lane to the net through the right circle, and also used a backhand fake maneuver to deceive Desjardins and tie the game at 1-1.

Malone received a pass from Dean Strong at 10:45 of the third period in front of the Rockford net, and fired a wrist shot top-shelf on Hutton to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead, which they would hold onto for the win.

Desjardins is now 14-10-5 after stopping 34 shots in the win. Hutton is 22-11-4 after stopping 34 shots in the Rockford loss.

The Monsters and IceHogs meet again Saturday night at 7:30 PM at Quicken Loans Arena to conclude their four-game season series. Doug Plagens will have the call of the game on ESPN 850 WKNR, as well as on the television side on MY 43 THE BLOCK WUAB.

NOTES: The Monsters improve to 3-0-0-0 this season against Rockford, and are now 8-9-2-1 all-time against the IceHogs… Rockford falls to 7-2-1-0 all-time at Quicken Loans Arena… Brad Malone has two goals and three assists for five points against Rockford this season; a total that leads the Monsters… Malone has the game-winning goal in two of the Monsters three wins this season against Rockford; he also scored the decisive tally on 2/8/12… With Desjardins earning the victory in net, he, Trevor Cann, and Gerald Coleman have all picked up wins in goal against Rockford this season… The Monsters are 4-3-1-3 over their last 11 games… The Monsters were 0-3 on the power play, and are now 3-30 on the power play over the last nine games… The Monsters are 36-42 on the penalty kill over their last nine games… The Monsters are 16-4-1-2 when Ryan Stoa scores a point… The one-goal game was the 41st this season for the Monsters, which adds to a team record; they are 22-9-3-7 in one-goal games.

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