Grahame and Monsters Record Shutout

After falling to the North Division-leading Bulldogs in Hamilton on Thursday night, the Lake Erie Monsters spelled revenge with a 3-0 victory in a rematch at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday. Goaltender John Grahame recorded 30 saves for his first shutout of the campaign, backstopping Lake Erie’s third shutout of the season.

With the win, the Monsters improve to 15-15-3-4 overall and 10-4-2-2 at home, while moving into a tie with Grand Rapids for fourth place in the North Division.

Lake Erie jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a power play tally at the 8:37 mark of the first period. Patrick Rissmiller snapped a shot from the right circle that was tipped in by Ryan Stoa. Stoa’s goal came as his fourth point (2G, 2A) in as many outings and his 11th goal of the season, which ties the team lead. Ben Walter also assisted for his 17th helper and 26th point of the season, both of which lead the Monsters. Walter extended his current point streak to four games (1G, 3A) with the assist. Rissmiller leads the Monsters with nine power play points (3G, 6A) on the season, while he’s totaled six points (1G, 5A) in his last four games.

After the opening 20 minutes, the Monsters led by a 1-0 score and a commanding 11-5 shot count.

Lake Erie pushed its lead to 2-0 at 4:47 of the middle frame, when Mike Carman scored his fifth shorthanded goal of the season. Justin Mercier assisted for his second point (1G, 1A) in his last three games. Carman leads AHL rookies in shorthanded goals (5) and points (5). Overall, Carman is tied for first in the league in shorthanded tallies, while his five shorthanded points rank second.

With just 1:20 remaining in the period, the Monsters extended their lead to 3-0 when Julian Talbot set up Matt Ford’s 11th goal of the season. Ford ties Mark Olver and Stoa for the team lead in goals, while Talbot’s 16th helper of the season ranks second on the club. Defenseman Kevin Montgomery also assisted for his fourth in his last three games.

The Bulldogs registered 12 shots to Lake Erie’s eight in the middle period.

A scoreless third period saw 13 Hamilton shots, compared to Lake Erie’s eight, resulting in the final 3-0 score.

Hamilton goaltender Robert Mayer finished with 24 saves on 27 shots.

Grahame’s shutout improves his record to 4-5-2.

The Monsters were perfect in killing off all seven of Hamilton’s opportunities with the man advantage. Lake Erie has notched five power play goals in its last 16 chances with their own man advantage (31.3%).

The Monsters have outscored their opponent by a combined 12-3 count in their last three home games.

Lake Erie will ride its season-high, three-game home winning streak into a 7:00 p.m. tilt with the Rochester Americans on Tuesday, January 4th at Quicken Loans Arena. The Monsters beat the Amerks 4-1 at The Q on Wednesday, December 30, 2010.

Three Stars: 1. LE Grahame (30 saves); 2. LE Stoa (GW goal); 3. LE Carman (1 goal)

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