Coleman Backstops Monsters to Win

Gerald Coleman’s 37 saves and four different goal scorers led the Lake Erie Monsters to a 4-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs at Quicken Loans Arena Tuesday night, snapping the club’s three-game losing streak. Four Monsters also had multi-point games, as the team never trailed in earning its fourth win over Hamilton in five meetings so far this season. Coleman, who signed with the Monsters two weeks ago, was playing in just his third game for Lake Erie and his first at The Q.

Patrick Rissmiller scored the only goal in the first period, giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. Just moments after hitting the goal post, and with a delayed penalty called against Hamilton, Rissmiller moved the puck up the left wing side and wristed a puck off Hamilton goalie Robert Mayer and into the goal. Evan Brophey and Mike Brennan assisted on Rissmiller’s third goal of the season at the 17:51 mark of the first period.

Hugh Jessiman netted his team-leading 20th goal of the season at 3:37 of the second period to extend the Monsters lead to 2-0. Mark Olver placed a puck in front of the goal, and amidst a scrum for the puck, Jessiman tapped it over the goal line. Ryan Stoa also assisted on Jessiman’s goal.

Louis LeBlanc scored Hamilton’s lone goal at 11:30 of the second period, sending a wrist shot into the top corner of the Monsters net, beating Coleman. Coleman, though, did stop 19 of 20 shots in the middle frame. His 19 second-period saves are a season high for saves in a period by a Monsters goalie.

The Monsters power play scored for the second straight game to regain the two-goal lead at 13:35 of the second period when Brophey fired a one-timer from the top of the right circle following a pass from Jessiman. The goal was Brophey’s 12th, and was also assisted by Olver.

The only goal of the third period was a highlight reel goal. Stoa pushed a puck up the right wing around a Hamilton defender and the puck became airborne. Before the puck could hit the ice, Stoa flipped a backhand shot over the shoulder of Mayer to give the Monsters a 4-1 win. The goal was Stoa’s eighth, and Jessiman was credited with an assist, his second of the game.

Coleman stopped 37 of 38 shots to improve to 2-1-0 in his first home start as a Monster. Mayer is 7-9-1, and stopped 19 of 23 shots for Hamilton.

Next up for the Monsters: a home date with the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies Thursday at 7:00 PM. The Monsters see Hamilton again on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena for a 7:30 PM puck drop.

NOTES: Mark Olver’s two assists gave him his first multi-point game of the season… Ryan Stoa had a goal and an assist for his sixth multi-point game of the season; the Monsters are 11-4-0-0 when Stoa registers a point… Patrick Rissmiller’s goal snaps a streak of seven straight games without a goal for him… With his three-point night, Hugh Jessiman now has four multi-point games this season; his two assists gave him his first multi-assist game of the season… The Monsters have topped 30 shots in just three of their last 13 games, but have only won one of those three games… The Monsters are 10-8-0-0 against the North Division, and are 4-1-0-0 this season against Hamilton… With Gerald Coleman starting in net for the Monsters, and Robert Mayer in net for Hamilton, the game featured the last two ECHL Kelly Cup-winning goalies; Coleman backstopped the Alaska Aces to the ECHL title in 2011, while Mayer was in net when the Cincinnati Cyclones captured the Kelly Cup in 2010.

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