What's On Tap...Three-Game Weekend

Labatt Blue
What's on Tap
The Monsters kick off a three-game weekend Friday night when they host the Syracuse Crunch for the first and last time this season. In Lake Erie’s only meeting against the Crunch this year – a February 19th match in Syracuse – the Monsters returned from upstate New York with a 6-4 win.

Coming to Cleveland Friday with the Crunch will be Syracuse forward Tom Fritsche. The older brother of Monsters forward Tom Fritsche, Dan was drafted by the Blue Jackets and has spent the entire season with the Crunch, who is the AHL affiliate of the Blue Jackets. Born in Parma, Ohio, the brothers are facing off against each other for the second time in their pro careers Friday night.

The Monsters power play – which has gone 3-for-13 in the past three games – should have numerous opportunities to cash in Friday night. Averaging 22 penalty minutes per game, the Crunch is the AHL’s fourth-most penalized team in the AHL. More than a few of those minutes in the sin bin are thanks to Syracuse forward Jon Mirasty, who is second in the AHL with 21 major penalties.

And while the Monsters will have an opportunity to score on the power play Friday night, they’ll also have to be weary of Crunch forward Derek MacKenzie, who leads the AHL with five shorthanded goals and seven shorthanded points. In total, Syracuse has netted 12 shorthanded scores this season, the third-most in the AHL.

Other stats of note are Syracuse’s overtime record and their lack of wins against the Western Conference’s North Division. With an 0-3 record in the five-minute sudden death overtime frame this season, the Crunch is the only team in the AHL to have yet to record a win in OT. Also, Syracuse has gone a combined 1-8-2-0 against the North Division this year.

After Friday’s game – which is the fourth and final the Monsters will play against an Eastern Conference opponent this season – Lake Erie will host the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday and Sunday to wrap up a homestand that will see the team play four home games in five days. 

All three games this weekend and every game this season will be broadcast on the Monsters flagship radio station, ESPN 850 WKNR.  Listen Live on ESPN 850 WKNR | Watch here via AHL Live

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