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Monster and Amerks
Tonight the Monsters play their first game of the season at Blue Cross Arena. This evening’s contest marks game three of eight regular season meetings between the Monsters and Amerks. With a 4-1 Lake Erie win on December 29, 2010, and a Rochester victory just 10 days ago, the series is tied at one game apiece.
When Lake Erie hosted Rochester on January 4th, the Amerks handed the Monsters a 4-3 loss, snapping Lake Erie’s season-high three-game home winning streak.
Justin Mercier opened the scoring at 12:03 of the first period, before the Amerks went on a four-goal run. Clay Wilson scored before the period was over to tie the game.
Michal Repik scored a power play at 10:01 of the middle frame, before Scott Timmins lit the lamp just 23 seconds later. Jordan Knackstedt scored the eventual game-winner at 15:14 of the period.
In the third, Travis Gawryletz and Ryan Stoa scored power play goals just seven seconds apart. Gawryletz’s goal came in a 5-on-3 situation, and Stoa’s tally came on the remainder of the ensuing power play.
Only 14 penalty minutes were recorded in the game.
Lake Erie’s power play went 2-for-4, while Rochester’s went 1-for-3.
John Grahame stopped 22 of 26 shots in net for the Monsters, while Jacob Markstrom went 27-for-30 in net for the Amerks.
Rochester’s 38 points places them in seventh place in the North Division, just one point behind Lake Erie.
The Amerks have won five of their last 10 games.
Rochester’s 115 goals on the season ties Grand Rapids for third in the division (Toronto 120, Hamilton 116).
Left Wing Eric Selleck ranks third among rookies in penalty minutes (104), while his 16 major penalties are also third among first-year players.
Clay Wilson’s five power play goals rank second among AHL defenseman and his 18 points on the man advantage are also second.
Michal Repik leads Rochester offensively, as the right wing has totaled 35 points (7G, 28A) in 34 games this season.
The Monsters suffered a 3-2 setback in Hamilton on January 12th.
The two teams combined for four goals in the second period, including Cameron Gaunce’s first professional marker 7:25 into the frame.
Down 3-1 in the third, the Monsters cut their deficit in half with Ben Walter’s goal at 18:20 but were unable to mount a full comeback.
Ryan Stoa recorded an assist for his fourth point (2G, 2A) in his last three games.
Julian Talbot also recorded a helper, marking back-to-back assists for the fourth time this season.
Jason Bacashihua went 21-for-24 in the Lake Erie net, while Curtis Sanford stopped 29 of 31 in net for the North Division-leading Bulldogs.
On the Road Again
Tonight, the Monsters play their fifth game of their season-high seven-game road trip. Thus far, the Monsters are 1-3-0-0, with their lone win of the trip coming in 3-1 fashion on January 8th against the Texas Stars.Bear Hunting
Tomorrow night the Monsters will play their first game of the season against the Hershey Bears.
The Bears enter this weekend’s action with a 22-13-1-1 record, good for fourth place in a competitive East Division.
Hershey has posted an 11-8-0-0 record at home this season, as the Giant Center’s average attendance of 9,151 is best in the circuit. The ever-popular venue is the site of this year's AHL All-Star Classic.
The Bears are lead by right wing Andrew Gordon, who has compiled 36 points (18G, 18A) in 31 games this season.
In goal, Braden Holtby has posted a 10-4-1 record through 16 appearances. As the AHL’s second-best goaltender, Holtby has recorded a 1.80 GAA, .935 save percentage and four shutouts.
On Tuesday, January 11th, the AHL released this year’s selections for the AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross.
Center Ryan Stoa will represent Lake Erie, as the University of Minnesota product is playing in just his second AHL season.
Rochester’s Michal Repik will also make his first appearance, as the 22-year-old from Vlasim, Czech Republic, is in his third AHL season.
Clay Wilson will also represent the Amerks, as the defenseman will be making his second all-star appearance.Holtby, Gordon and Lawrence Nycholat (5G, 22A) will play in front of their home crowd in representing the Bears.
Broadcaster Ben Holden also captured footage of Blue Cross Arena for his most recent installment of On the Road.
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