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Monsters Begin Seven-Game Road SwingTweet
Road Work Ahead
Tonight the Monsters embark on a season-high seven-game road swing, starting with a three-in-three weekend against three different West Division teams (Houston, Jan. 7; Texas, Jan. 8; Oklahoma City, Jan.9).
Lake Erie is 5-10-3-2 against West Division opponents.
The Monsters will run a three-in-three gauntlet five more times this season.
Monsters vs. Aeros
When these two teams met at Quicken Loans Arena on December 12th, the Monsters skated to a 5-2 victory to take a two-game lead in the regular season series.
In that Lake Erie win, the Aeros jumped out to a 2-0 lead by scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game. Chad Rau lit the lamp at the 1:58 mark, before setting up Carson McMillan with a shorthanded goal just 58 seconds later.
At 3:51 of the period, Luke Walker started Lake Erie’s five-goal outburst with a power play tally.
In the middle frame, the Monsters built a 4-2 lead off goals by Ryan Stoa, Travis Gawryletz and Tom Zanoski.
Lake Erie was outshot 8-4 in the final 20 minutes but Ryan Stoa finalized a 5-2 score sheet with an empty-net tally at 18:31.
Defenseman Kevin Montgomery recorded two assists in the win, while center Ben Walter dished out three helpers to mark a season high for Lake Erie.
Jason Bacashihua made 25 saves on 27 shots in net for the Monsters.
Anton Khudobin started for the Aeros, stopping eight of 11 before Matt Hacket turned aside seven of eight in relief.
The Lake Erie win started a season-high three-game home winning streak that was eventually snapped by a 4-3 loss to Rochester on January 4th.
The Monsters have collected nine of a possible 12 points (4-1-1-0) in their last six meetings with the Aeros, dating back to the 2009-10 season.
About the Aeros
With 41 points this season, the Aeros are tied with Oklahoma City for sixth place in the West Division.
Houston has posted a 4-6-0-0 mark in its last 10 outings and they are 9-6-1-0 on home ice. Up front, the Aeros are led by Robbie Earl’s 23 points (10G, 13A), while Maxim Noreau (7G, 16A) patrols their blue line as the team’s top defenseman.
Texas Two Step
After Friday’s tilt with the Aeros, the Monsters will head to the capital of the Lone Star State to meet the Texas Stars at the Cedar Park Center.
The Monsters split with Texas last season (2-2-0-0) before a 3-2 setback on October 22nd.
The Stars are 21-11-2-2 this season, standing in fourth place in the West Division.
Texas rides a seven-game point streak (5-0-1-1) into this weekend’s action.
Lake Erie has recorded seven power play goals in its last five games, including two in a span of seven seconds in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Rochester.
Patrick Rissmiller’s 10 power play points (3G, 7A) lead the team, while defenseman Kevin Montgomery has recorded eight (2G, 6A).
Forwards Ryan Stoa (5G, 2A) and Ben Walter (2G, 5A) both have had a hand in seven of Lake Erie’s power play markers this season.
Monsters and Barons
The Monsters took a 5-3 victory when they hosted the Barons on November 27th.
Thus far, Lake Erie has posted a 1-2-1-0 mark through four of this regular season’s six meetings with Oklahoma City.
The Barons are 18-14-1-4 in their inaugural season.
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