Monsters Will Reach Century Mark Tonight!

When the Lake Erie Monsters host the Iowa Chops tonight at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 p.m., it will mark the 100th game in the franchise’s history.

The game also marks the team’s 20th of the season. So far, the Monsters have compiled a record of 7-10-0-2, good for sixth in the North Division. The team has battled through a slew of injuries and call ups to be only four points behind the fifth place Toronto Marlies.

So far this season, T.J. Hensick, Brian Willsie and Kyle Cumiskey have seen playing time in Colorado. Prior to his departure, Hensick led the Monsters with 13 points through the first 10 games. In 13 games with the Avs, Hensick has registered five points (1G, 4A) and is second on the team with a plus/minus rating of +4. In seven games with Colorado, Willsie has an assist, four penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +2. Before he was recalled, Willsie led the Monsters in power play goals, power play points, goals, points, plus/minus and shots. Cumiskey has appeared in three games with the Avs team and has yet to register a point. He led all Monsters defensemen with seven assists and eight points before his call up.

In their absence, the team has gotten solid efforts from defenseman Aaron MacKenzie, forwards Chris Durno and Marty Sertich and goalie Tyler Weiman.

In the month of November, Weiman lost just one game in regulation, posting a 4-1-0-1 record and recording two shutouts. The Monster netminder posted arguably his best performance to date November 1st against Toronto. Weiman’s 37-save shutout propelled the Monsters to their first shutout and road victory of the season. Weiman’s and the team’s second shutout came in a 1-0 shootout loss November 22nd versus Manchester. The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, made 27 saves through regulation and overtime and stalled four of five shooters in the shootout, but was unable to come away with the victory.

With Cumiskey being called up, MacKenzie has led the Monsters back line, logging a solid portion of ice time and wearing the “A” on his jersey. MacKenzie doesn’t score often, but when he does, he makes sure it counts. His two game-winning goals are tops among all Monsters and all AHL defensemen. He also leads the league’s blue liners with a 21.4 shooting percentage.

While Hensick and Willsie have been up with the big club, Durno and Sertich have picked up the slack offensively. Sertich, the former Hobey Baker award winner, has five points in the last five games, including the game-winning goal Saturday, November 29th against Toronto. With a power play goal in Saturday’s game, Durno is now first among all active Monster players in power play goals and points. He also leads all active Monsters players with 12 points (5G, 7A).

The Monsters have played some of their better hockey against the Marlies this year as the team is 3-0 against their North Division foes. Weiman has backstopped all three victories and has made 100 saves on 105 shots the Marlies have put on net. The team has also picked up six of their seven wins at The Q.

The team hosts the Chops in back-to-back games this weekend, as the teams meet Saturday, December 6th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 7th at 5:00 p.m. On Saturday, Ohio State and Robert Morris University will meet in the first ever college hockey game at The Q. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Fans who buy a ticket will be admitted to both games. Previously this season, the Buckeyes beat RMU, 4-0, November 14th at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase.

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