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Hensick and Crew Lead Monsters to WinTweet
Lake Erie's defense shined in the first period, holding the IceHogs to only one shot on goal in 20 minutes. The Monsters offense put 11 shots on net, converting twice. Rowe got the scoring started at 7:55 of the opening frame, notching his third goal in two nights. He deflected a shot that Gawryletz took from the top of the circle. Brian Willsie picked up the second assist.
Hensick put the Monsters up 2-0 at 9:22 of the first when he took a pass from Haydar on the right side while streaking down the middle. Goalie Billy Sauer was credited with the secondary assist, which was the first time a Lake Erie goaltender has recorded an assist since former Monster Mike Wall did on March 15th, 2008.
The two teams went into the first intermission with the Monsters ahead, 2-0.
It only took 32 seconds into the second period for Hensick to strike again, pushing the Lake Erie lead to three goals with his 12th of the year. Skating down the right side, Hensick reached to catch the puck ahead of him and in one movement shot and found the back of the net. Rowe and Haydar assisted. With two goals on the night, Hensick recorded his 12th multi-point game of the year. It was also Rowe's second multi-point effort in as many nights.
At 7:54, Rockford finally got on the board when Adam Hobson scored his second of the year, assisted by Akim Aliu. And less than two minutes later, the IceHogs cut the Lake Erie lead to one on Pete MacArthur's goal. David Phillips and Mark Cullen were given the assists at 9:37 of the second.
Matt Ford put the Monsters advantage back to two with his goal at the 13:50 mark. He was assisted by O'Neill and Gawryletz. Ford has now recorded a point in six straight games (4G, 4A) and nine of the last 11 games (8G, 4A). With his pair of assists, Gawryletz posted his first multi-point game of the year.
Rockford came right back and cut the deficit to one once again behind Kyle Greentree's goal at 14:07. Bryan Bickell and Brian Connelly helped on the score and sent their team to the locker room down 4-3.
Lake Erie would gut out the last 20 minutes, holding tight to their 4-3 lead until the waning seconds, when Haydar iced the game with his empty netter with 37 seconds remaining. Haydar has posted points in three straight games (2G, 4A) and notched his team-best 14th multi-point contest of the season.
Sauer finished the game with 15 saves on 18 shots. Across the ice, Rockford netminder Joe Fallon allowed four goals on 23 shots before being replaced by Corey Crawford, who ended the night stopping all seven shots he faced.
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