Monsters Begin Three-Game Set Tonight

Monsters vs. Marlies:

Tonight, the Monsters will square off with Toronto for the second time this season. In their first meeting on October 30th, Lake Erie handed Toronto a 4-1 loss at Ricoh Coliseum. Since then, the Monsters have played seven consecutive home games, posting a 3-2-1-1 mark.

Toronto has not lost in regulation since falling to Lake Erie, as they’ve posted an impressive 6-0-0-3 record through nine straight road games.

Lake Erie concludes its season-high eight-game home stand tonight, while Toronto wraps up a 10-game road swing.

With a record of 8-6-0-3 (19 pts), Toronto stands in a three-way tie for third place in the North Division (Manitoba, Grand Rapids). The Monsters are 7-7-2-1 overall and they are just two points out of the division’s third place tie. Lake Erie enters tonight’s contest with a 4-1-0-1 record in North Division play, with its only regulation loss coming against the Manitoba Moose back on October 29th.

Rematch with Griffins:

Tomorrow night, the Monsters will travel to Grand Rapids for their third game of the season against the Griffins, their first at Van Andel Arena.

The Monsters dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to Grand Rapids on November 7th, but rebounded with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday, November 17th. The shutout came as Lake Erie’s second of the season, as Jason Bacashihua has backstopped both. With a 5-4-2 record, 2.16 GAA and a .912 save percentage, Bacashihua ranks 8th among AHL goaltenders. His two shutouts tie for first place in the league (Climie, San Antonio; Dekanick, Milwaukee). By claiming his second shutout of the season on Wednesday, Bacashihua was named the AHL’s second star.

The Griffins have racked up 75 penalty minutes in two games against the Monsters. Their 44 minutes on Wednesday is the most of any Lake Erie opponent this season, while their 31 PIMs on November 7th is the second most.

Grand Rapids entered Wednesday’s contest with the AHL’s second-best power overall play unit (23.4%), but the Monsters denied all six of the Griffins’ attempts with the man-advantage. Overall, Grand Rapids is 1-for-9 on the power play against Lake Erie, as the Monsters hold the league’s best home penalty killing unit (93.5%). 

The Griffins will host the Houston Aeros at 7 p.m. tonight.

Sunday in Chicago:

On Sunday, the Monsters will wrap up a three-in-three weekend by playing their second game of the season against Chicago. Lake Erie last played the Wolves on November 5th at Quicken Loans Arena, falling 6-5 in overtime.

In that contest, former Monster Darren Haydar recorded a natural hat trick to lift the Wolves to victory. His game-winner came with less than a second left in the five-minute overtime session.

The Wolves hold a 6-11-1-0 record and they are currently riding an 0-7-0-0 streak. They are idle tonight, but they host the Houston Aeros tomorrow at 7 p.m.

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