2009-10 Lake Erie Look Back

Although the Lake Erie Monsters fell short of their ultimate goal – a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs – the team improved on the previous season, as the 77 points in the standings set a new franchise mark. It was the second consecutive season the Monsters improved on the previous year, as last season’s club, with 34 wins and 76 points, improved on 2007-08’s 26 wins and 65 points.

Matching their 34-win total of 2008-09, David Quinn’s team, in a season-ending 4-3 shootout loss to the Abbotsford Heat April 10th, picked up point 77. The Monsters also set a franchise mark in road wins with 15.

With the 2009-10 season in the books, let’s take a look back at some of the on-ice highlights from this year.

Some highlights:

October 3rd: Monsters open the 2009-10 season with a 3-2 overtime win in Rochester against the Americans. Phil Dupuis scores the game-winner with six seconds left in the extra frame.

October 17th: Monsters pick up first home win of the season in a 5-2 victory against the Manitoba Moose.

October 17th – November 11th: Chris Durno goes on a five-game goal streak, picking up six goals and nine points in that span.

October 20th: A 24-save effort from Trevor Cann propels the Monsters to their first shutout of the season in a 4-0 win against the Texas Stars. Darren Haydar and Durno – each recording a goal and an assist – fuel the offense.

October 30th: Lake Erie picks up their first shootout win, a 5-4 decision against the Peoria Rivermen. Haydar, Brock Bradford and Cedric McNicoll tally in the shootout.

November 8th: Monsters set a franchise record with five power play goals in an 8-6 loss to Grand Rapids. The eight scores given up also sets a franchise mark.

December 13th: Lake Erie’s offense explodes, tying a franchise mark with seven goals in a 7-3 win over the Chicago Wolves. Haydar powers the offense, recording his and the team’s first hat trick of the season. Defenseman Brett Skinner ties a franchise mark, picking up four helpers in the win.

December 22nd: Dupuis leads the Monsters to a 6-2 victory against Texas, recording three scores, each in a different scenario: on the power play, the penalty kill and while shorthanded.

December 27th: The Monsters again tie a franchise mark with seven goals in a 7-0 romp over the Toronto Marlies. T.J. Hensick, Haydar and Ryan Stoa record three-point nights while in goal Tyler Weiman makes 32 saves on as many shots.

January 3rd: Lake Erie ties their franchise-best mark of seven scores again in a game with a 7-2 win against the Griffins. Seven players record multiple points in the victory.

January 9th – January 15th: Monsters set a season mark, running off four straight road wins.

January 22nd: In front of 18,626 fans, the Monsters take a 5-4 overtime contest against the Stars. Rookie Justin Mercier nets the game-winner with less than 40 seconds left in the extra session. The attendance total sets a franchise record and is the second-highest in the 2009-10 regular season, bested only by the Syracuse Crunch’s crowd of 21,508 at the AHL’s first-ever outdoor game.

January 29th: Lake Erie sets a franchise mark with 49 shots in one game in a 6-3 win against the Marlies. Hensick, Mike Bartlett and Mercier each record a goal and an assist.

February 10th: Lake Erie picks up their fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win against the Milwaukee Admirals. Weiman makes 15 saves while Josh Aspenlind tallies his first goal of the season, also the game-winner.

February 28th: The Monsters put up six goals in a 6-5 shootout win against the Griffins. Haydar registers four points (1G, 3A) and goalie Chris Whitley picks up the win in his AHL debut.

March 5th: For the second time in three games, the Monsters record a shootout victory, besting Milwaukee, 3-2. Bradford figures in on both regulation goals (1G, 1A) and scores in the shootout.

March 27th: Lake Erie picks up a 5-4 win against the San Antonio Rampage on enemy ice, led by a trio of assists from Haydar.

April 10th: In their final regular season game, the Monsters register a point in a 4-3 shootout loss, setting a franchise mark with 77 points in a season.

Individual Accolades:

From an individual standpoint, Hensick set new franchise marks with 70 points and 50 assists in a season while captain Brian Willsie’s 26 goals are the most by an individual in a year. Willsie’s 12 power play tallies tied a franchise mark set by David Jones in 2007-08.

In early January, Haydar was recognized by The Hockey News as the AHL Player of the Decade. In his career, the Milton, Ontario, native won Rookie of the Year, a league MVP and two Calder Cups. Haydar’s 135 postseason points are the most in the history of the AHL. Haydar also earned Player of the Week honors in late December, putting up eight points (5G, 3A) in a three-game span.

Finishing out the 2009 calendar year strong, Hensick earned Player of the Month honors, recording 23 points (4G, 19A) in 13 games. With the honor, Hensick becomes the first player in Lake Erie’s franchise history to be named the AHL’s Player of the Month.

Despite playing in just 54 games, Stoa’s 23 goals are tied for first among league rookies, and his 10 power play tallies are second among the AHL’s first-year players.

Click Here to read about the Monsters off the ice events of the 2009-10 season.

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