2009 Ushered Out With Convincing Win

The Lake Erie Monsters ended the 2009 calendar year in convincing fashion, beating the Western Conference’s second-best team, the Rochester Americans, 5-1, Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The Monsters received their goals from five different sources and improved to 14-18-0-3 with the win while the Americans record dropped to 22-12-2-0.

Darren Haydar started out the scoring for the Monsters, recording his team-leading 16th goal of the season at the 7:44 mark of the first. Standing to the right of Americans goalie Chris Beckford-Tseu, Haydar collected Brian Fahey’s rebound behind the goal line and banked the puck off the Rochester goalie from his backhand. T.J. Hensick recorded the second assist on the goal.

Less than four minutes later, Brian Willsie put the Monsters up 2-0 with his 10th goal of the season. Standing in the high slot, Willsie angled a Derek Peltier point shot on the ice past Beckford-Tseu’s glove side. Marty Sertich was credited with the secondary assist on the goal. With the score, Willsie has recorded a goal in three straight games.

But the Americans would cut the Lake Erie lead in half on Michal Repik’s 10th goal of the season at the 14-minute mark of the first. In the high slot, Repik took a cross-ice feed from Jamie Johnson and wired a one-timer past the blocker of Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman. Clay Wilson recorded the second assist on the goal, a power play marker.

Heading into the second up 2-1, Sertich pushed the Monsters lead to two with his fifth of the season just under 12 minutes into the middle frame. Standing in the low slot, Sertich one-timed a feed from Willsie from behind the net through Beckford-Tseu’s five hole. With the goal and assist, Sertich notched his first multi-point game of the year, and also adding a goal and an assist, Willsie put up his fifth multi-point game of the season.

After the Sertich tally, the remainder of the period would go by scoreless and the Monsters would head into their last third period of 2009 with a 3-1 lead.

Instead of allowing Rochester a chance to get back in the game, the Monsters pushed forward and took a 4-1 lead eight minutes into the third. Skating down the slot, Cedric McNicoll took a feed from the wall from Matt Ford, cut across the middle of the ice and ripped a backhander past the glove of Beckford-Tseu. Tom Fritsche picked up the second assist on the goal, and has recorded a helper in three of the past four games.

Before the game would come to an end, the Monsters would add a fifth goal, as Ryan Stoa registered his 13th of the year on the power play with four minutes left in the game. Standing in front of the Rochester cage, Stoa one-timed a feed from behind the net from Hensick past the outstretched leg of Beckford-Tseu, sealing the victory. Haydar picked up the second assist on the goal.

With the two assists, Haydar notched his team-leading 11th multi-point game of the year and has registered 13 points (5G, 8A) in the past six games. Hensick, with a pair of assists, picked up his seventh multi-point game of the season and has put up 14 points (1G, 13A) in the past six games. Both players are on six-game assist streaks, which is a franchise high. Hensick has recorded at least a point in 12 of the past 13 games, tallying 23 points (4G, 19A) in that span, while Haydar has notched 21 points (9G, 12A) in the past 13 games.

By game’s end, Weiman made 19 saves on 20 shots while Beckford-Tseu turned away 38 of 43 shots in the loss. The 43 shots tied a season-high for the Monsters.

“From top to bottom everybody has elevated their game,” said head coach David Quinn. “We never got down. When things got tough, I love how we hung together, and there was a real tough stretch there for everybody. But our guys are feeling real good about themselves now and they should.”

The Monsters open 2010 on the road, playing the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday and traveling to Grand Rapids to play the Griffins on Sunday. Lake Erie’s next home game is slated for Tuesday, January 5th, when the Monsters host the Milwaukee Admirals at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

Sights and Sounds
 
Head Coach David Quinn Interview
 
Brian Fahey Postgame Interview

 


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