Monsters Cool Off Heat

In front of 13,000 fans on Saturday night, the Lake Erie Monsters won a thrilling 3-2 contest against the North Division’s third-place team, the Abbotsford Heat, at Quicken Loans Arena. With the win, the Monsters improve to 31-32-0-7 and move within three points of the Manitoba Moose for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North with 10 games left in the regular season. Abbotsford drops to 34-26-4-6 with the loss.

T.J. Hensick started the scoring early for the Monsters, netting his 19th of the season less than two minutes into the opening frame on the power play. Coming down the middle of the ice, Hensick took a pass at the blue line from Ryan Stoa, walked in the high slot, and rifled a wrist shot past the low blocker of Abbotsford goalie David Shantz. Tom Preissing picked up the second assist on the goal.

It would take another 13 minutes, but captain Brian Willsie would pad the Lake Erie lead with his 21st of the season at the 14:24 mark of the first. Standing in the low slot, Willsie took a pass from Hensick that came from behind the net and one-timed the disc past the low glove of Shantz. Kevin Montgomery picked up the second assist on the goal. After the second tally, Leland Irving came in to replace Shantz between the pipes for Abbotsford.

Heading into the middle frame with a two-goal lead, the Monsters would keep the Heat off the board for 13 more minutes, but Abbotsford would eventually strike, cutting the Lake Erie lead in half on Olivier Latendresse’s fourth of the season at the 13:20 mark of the second. Standing in front of Monsters goalie John Grahame, Latendresse collected a rebound in front of the cage, banging home the loose change through Grahame’s fivehole. Brett Sutter and Brad Cole picked up assists on the goal.

Just two minutes after getting on the board, Abbotsford tied the game with Radek Smolenak’s ninth goal of the year. Standing on top of Grahame, Smolenak redirected a point shot from the stick of Josh Meyers that trickled through Grahame’s crease and into the net, tying the game with less than five minutes left in the second.

Despite two quick goals, the Monsters would not let the sudden momentum change deter them, and the team would record the final strike in the second period on one of the prettier Monsters goals in recent memory.

Taking a pass from Stoa into the Heat zone, Hensick outraced a Heat defenseman, putting himself on a partial breakaway. When the Abbotsford defender dove at Hensick, the crafty forward put a backhand pass around the defenseman and right on Willsie’s stick. Taking the pass in the slot, Willsie flicked a wrist shot that found the top corner of the net past Irving’s glove, giving the Monsters a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

With 20 minutes to go and a one-goal lead, the Monsters defense buckled down, and Grahame stopped all 12 shots in the third to push the Monsters past their division rivals by the 3-2 final. On the night, Grahame turned away 35 of 37 shots while Shantz stopped four of six shots and Irving made 16 saves on 17 shots.

“It was a great game, a very good effort and I’m just happy to get the win,” said Monsters head coach David Quinn. “We won the game tonight because we had T.J. Hensick and they didn’t. He was unbelievable all night, and he was a threat every time he was on the ice. That’s the guy that won the hockey game.”

With a goal and two assists, Hensick tallied his team-leading 20th multi-point game of the season, while pushing his point streak to four games. In that span, the former University of Michigan standout has posted eight points (1G, 7A). Picking up a pair of helpers, Stoa has recorded points in five consecutive games, tallying seven points (3G, 4A) in that span, while picking up his eighth multi-point game of the season. With the pair of tallies, Willsie recorded his 14th game with multiple points and has put up four points (2G, 2A) in the past three games.

The Monsters return to the ice on Wednesday, when they host the Rochester Americans at 7:30 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 Willsie Postgame Interview


Search Archive »


  Bookmark and Share

Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
0

Browse by Month »

July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
March 2007
January 2007
December 2006
May 2006