Alone at The Top!

Photos courtesy of Manitoba Moose
Friday began a crucial back-to-back weekend in Manitoba for the Monsters and Moose. The teams entered Friday's contest tied for first place in the Western Conference North Division with 64 points apiece. The teams left Friday's contest with the Lake Erie Monsters in sole possession of the top spot. Lake Erie sailed to a 5-1 win over the Moose, their fifth straight and 13th in the last 17 games.

The five-game win streak ties a franchise high for Lake Erie and is the second time this season the team has done so. The team has also now won five straight on the road, also a franchise record.

The Monsters used a 15-9 first-period shot advantage to take a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Ben Walter scored at 15:11, assisted by Greg Mauldin and Matt Generous.

Justin Mercier increased the Lake Erie lead just two minutes later, scoring at 17:40 off assists from Luke Walker and Mike Carman.

Manitoba quickly responded in the second period, scoring 2:34 into the middle frame. Guillaume Desbiens was assisted by Mark Flood and Sergei Shirokov, cutting the Monsters advantage in half.

The Monsters would fire back later in the second, regaining their two-goal lead off an unassisted tally from Julian Talbot at the 14:48 mark.

Joel Chouinard added a power play marker in the final minute of the second, sending Lake Erie to the locker room with a 4-1 lead. Ben Walter was credited with the assist on the goal.

Midway through the third period Matt Ford would solidify the 5-1 final with his power play goal. Patrick Rissmiller and Travis Gawryletz recorded the helpers at 12:13.

Jason Bacashihua recorded his fourth straight win in goal for Lake Erie, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in net.

Across the ice, Eddie Lack had 24 saves on 29 shots for Manitoba.

The two teams will meet again Saturday night. At the very least, the Monsters will leave Manitoba this weekend tied for first place. At best, Lake Erie will leave alone in the top spot with a four-point lead over the Moose.


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