Monsters On Wrong Side of 1-0 Score

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In their first appearance of the season at Quicken Loans Arena, the Manitoba Moose beat the Lake Erie Monsters, 1-0, on Saturday night. Despite the loss, it was Lake Erie netminder Jason Bacashihua who stole the show. By the end of the night, Bacashihua made 27 saves on 28 Manitoba shots, including denying a penalty shot in the second period. In the last four games, the Monsters shutout their opponent twice and have been shutout twice.

Bacashihua kept his team in it early, stopping 12 of 13 shots in the first period, including a breakaway chance from Manitoba right wing Michael Grabner. Coming in alone on Bacashihua, Grabner deked forehand on the Monster netminder, attempting to tuck the puck into the left side of the net. When Grabner attempted to move the puck around Bacashihua, the Lake Erie goalie extended his right pad to the post, getting his toe on the puck, and denying the first of many point-blank opportunities for Manitoba.

Grabner would eventually succeed in getting one past Bacashihua, registering his 19th of the season at the 17:25 mark of the first period. Streaking down the left wing, Grabner took a puck on its edge at the top of the faceoff circle, wiring it past the glove of Bacashihua, giving the Moose a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room. Mark Cullen and Michel Ouellet earned assists on the goal.

The second period would provide more of the same heroics from the Lake Erie netminder, who turned away seven Manitoba shots and a penalty shot from the stick of Moose center Alexandre Bolduc at the 6:47 mark of regulation’s middle frame. Swinging wide right on his penalty shot, Bolduc faked a shot and tried to deke forehand, only to have his fake stuffed by the right pad of Bacashihua.

“Jason gave us a chance to win tonight,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco. “He looked sharp, he looked focused and looked like he was seeing the puck well.”

The third period was another one in which Bacashihua blanked the opponent, but it was another 20-minute frame the Lake Erie offense was unable to beat Manitoba goalie Curtis Sanford, who ended with 26 saves in the shutout. After the game, Sacco and Bacashihua acknowledged that the team could take both positives and negatives from the 1-0 loss.

“We had a good effort in the second and third period,” said Sacco. “We’re a team that’s not going to score many goals every night, but we’re doing a good job of keeping ourselves in the game and when Jason gives us the opportunity guys have to put the puck in the net.”

“The goalies can’t score goals, but we can stop the other team from scoring,” said Bacashihua. “If we’re giving up one or two goals a game we can still win. We’re working hard and the goals are going to come, it’s just tonight we didn’t have the one or two we needed.”

Lake Erie will play their third game in as many nights on Sunday, when they travel to Houston to play the Aeros at 6:05 p.m.

Sights and Sounds
Jason Bacashihua Interview
Coach Joe Sacco Interview
Quote, Unquote

"I think we can take the fact that we held one of the better offensive teams in the league to one goal.  And the fact that our penalty kill, I don’t want to jinx us, but it's been a few games in a row now where we haven’t given up a power play goal, and we only killed one tonight, but that’s a nice remedy for that. We also had a good effort in the second and third period.” - Head Coach Joe Sacco


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