Monsters, Amerks Faceoff Thursday

MATCHUP
A five-game homestand begins for the Lake Erie Monsters (12-11-1-1) as they welcome in the Rochester Americans (11-9-2-0) for a North Division battle tonight at 7:00 PM at Quicken Loans Arena. The game marks the first meeting between the two teams since the Monsters final game of last season; a 2-1 Rochester win. The Monsters, who are coming off a 1-0 loss in Hamilton on Tuesday, sit in third place in the North Division, two points ahead of Rochester. The Americans have played three fewer games than the Monsters, and are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over Abbotsford on Tuesday.

LAST TIME OUT
The Monsters were shutout in Hamilton by a 1-0 score on Tuesday, but Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard was arguably the best player on the ice for either team despite suffering the hard-luck loss in net. Pickard tied a career-best, stopping 44 of 45 shots that were sent his way. The loss was the second consecutively for the Monsters, who finished their recent four-game road trip with a 1-3-0-0 record.

WHO TO WATCH: MONSTERS
Geoff Walker scored the lone Monsters goal in Friday's loss, and has begun to see scoring chances come his way more frequently with each passing game. Walker is a power forward with good passing and stickhandling abilities, and often puts himself in a good position to score. Walker had perhaps the Monsters best scoring opportunity on Tuesday, and will continue to be a threat up front for the Monsters.

WHO TO WATCH: AMERICANS
Luke Adam has goals in his last two games, and is currently on a three-game point streak. Adam scored for Rochester in the 2-1 Rochester win over the Monsters on the final weekend of last season; a Monsters loss that ultimately ended their season. Adam was the Buffalo Sabres second round draft choice in 2008, and the 22-year-old has 24 points in 71 career National Hockey League contests.

TUNE IN
If you can't make it to Quicken Loans Arena for the 7:00 PM puck drop, catch all the action live on ESPN 850 WKNR, Sirius 207, or XM 92 with Doug Plagens on the play-by-play.


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