Full Team Effort Dominates Phantoms

When facing the daunting task of playing one of the top teams in the league, and doing so on the road, undoubtedly a full team effort would be needed.  The Monsters got that and then some, routing the Phantoms in Philadelphia on Friday, 5-1

A total of 11 Monsters players recorded points in the contest, by far a team record this season. After the two teams kept pace with each other through the first period, the Monsters went on to score four unanswered goals over the next two.  Brad Richardson posted three points in the contest, while David Jones chipped in two.

Lake Erie got on the board first when rookie right wing Jones scored at 8:50 of the opening period on a power play.  Ray Macias and Richardson assisted on the goal, which was the team's first on the man advantage since December 22nd.

Stefan Ruzicka tied it up for the Phantoms when he got by Monsters netminder Tyler Weiman at 12:47, in what would prove to be Philadelphia's lone goal of the night.

The Monsters would take over from there.

Lake Erie made quick work of building a lead over the Phantoms, as they scored two goals in two minutes to start the second stanza.  Rookie right wing Chris Stewart got it started when he scored off helpers from Mark McCutcheon and Mitch Love at 2:17. Defenseman Michael Vernace followed that up with his first goal as a Monster at 4:10.  Richardson and Matt Hussey were credited with the assists.  Lake Erie would ride their 3-1 advantage through the end of the period.

After already contributing two assists on the night, Richardson got in on the scoring himself, finding the back of the net to start the third period.  His goal at :49 was his first as a Monster.  The assist was given to Brent Kelly.

Jamie Lundmark would round out Lake Erie's offensive barrage, scoring at 16:39 of the final period, assisted by T.J. Hensick and Jones.

Not just one, but two Philadelphia goaltenders could not find the answer to the Monsters offense.  Scott Munroe started in goal for the Phantoms, giving up three goals in 24 minutes before being replaced by Brian Boucher.  He allowed a pair of Lake Erie goals in the final 35 minutes of play.

Starting his fourth straight game and sixth in the last seven, Weiman was nearly flawless between the pipes for Lake Erie.  He deflected 31 of the 32 shots he faced on the night.

The Monsters will have little time to enjoy their win over the top team in the East, as they move on to Hershey to play the Bears on Saturday.


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