Monsters Start Weekend by Being Shutout

On October 21st, the Lake Erie Monsters recorded their second shutout of the season in a 1-0 win against the Houston Aeros in Texas. But on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, the tables turned and the Monsters were shut out, losing a 6-0 contest to the AHL’s top penalty killing team, the Aeros.

With the loss, Lake Erie drops to 6-9-0-1 while Houston improves to 9-7-0-0. The turning point of the game was the second period, as the Aeros scored four goals in the middle frame en route to handing the Monsters the six-goal defeat, a franchise worst.

One of Lake Erie’s former captains, Nathan Smith, netted the first goal of the game, recording his second of the year on the power play at the 18:24 mark of the first. Standing off to the left of Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman, Smith pushed home a rebound from Jon DiSalvatore. Jean-Michel Daoust recorded the second assist on the goal.

Heading into the second up one, the Aeros would keep the pressure on Lake Erie, scoring just 1:39 into the middle frame. Positioned in the right slot, Danny Irmen wired a one-time feed from DiSalvatore, recording his sixth of the season, giving the Aeros a 2-0 lead.

Only four minutes later, Clayton Stoner pushed the Houston lead to three with his third goal of the year, wiring a slapshot past Weiman’s blocker from the point. Peter Zingoni and Maxim Noreau picked up assists on the goal.

Less than three minutes later, at the 8:10 mark of the second, Noreau chased Weiman from the crease with his third of the season. Streaking down the right side of the ice from his spot at the point, Noreau took a cross-ice feed from DiSalvatore and roofed a wrist shot over Weiman’s glove, putting the Aeros up, 4-0.

Before the second period ended, the Aeros would go up 5-0 on Brandon Rogers second of the season with 30 seconds left in the middle frame. To the left of Trevor Cann, who came off the bench to replace Weiman after Noreau’s goal, Rogers wired a feed short side from behind the net from Colton Gillies. Irmen recorded the second assist on the goal.

Going into the third down by four, the Monsters would partially stop the bleeding, allowing just one goal in the game’s final 20 minutes.

Houston’s Petr Kalus capped the night with his second goal of the season at the 12:25 mark of the final frame. Intercepting a pass from a Monsters defenseman, Kalus came in on Cann, was tripped up, but had the momentum of his body push the puck past Cann and into the Monsters net.

“We had way too many turnovers tonight and we gave them a lot of chances,” said Monsters forward Darren Haydar. “We didn’t help Weiman in net, we hung him out to dry tonight. As a player if you’re not embarrassed tonight then you shouldn’t be involved in this business, because that was something that you never want that to happen and the good thing for us is we get to jump back on the horse and play tomorrow.”

Cann finished the night with eight saves on 10 shots in 31:50 of action while Weiman made seven saves on 11 shots in 28:10 before being pulled. Aeros goalie Anton Khudobin pitched his second shutout of the season, turning away all 17 shots, and earning first star of the game honors.

The Monsters will have their shot at redemption in less than 24 hours, as they host the Aeros Saturday at 1 p.m. at The Q. Tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

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