Power Play Hurts Monsters in Loss

Photos courtesy of sieversphoto.com
On Saturday, for the second straight night, the Monsters were 1-6 on the power play. Unlike Friday, when the Monsters were still able to pull out a shootout win, the team felt the result of the poor special teams, falling 3-1 in Peoria on Saturday. Justin Mercier scored for Lake Erie and John Grahame posted 24 saves on 26 shots in goal. The Monsters finish their three-in-three in Chicago on Sunday.

Lars Eller had a hand in all three Rivermen goals, as he scored the first and assisted on the final two. Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop helped weather the storm in the first period as the Monsters outshot Peoria 7-1 to open the game. He finished with 22 saves.

The first goal came at 16:38 with Pascal Pelletier creating the 11th of the season for Eller. He raced into the offensive zone, split the defense and slid a backhand pass to Eller crashing the goal. His wrist shot beat John Grahame below the blocker to put the Rivermen in front.

Derek Armstrong tipped home Peoria’s second goal after an elongated Monsters power play. With Jonas Junland already boxed for holding, Strachan was called for a high-sticking double-minor. The Rivermen were able to kill off all 5:15, including 45 seconds of five-on-three. Just 39 seconds later, with only 16 seconds remaining in the period, Armstrong deflected Strachan’s shot past Grahame for his 15th of the year.

Lake Erie’s power play finally cashed in, 4:43 into the third. Bishop thought he had the rebound of Brian Fahey’s shot tucked in his pads but it rolled out to the circle and Mercier was there to cut the Rivermen lead in half.  Phil Dupuis recorded the secondary assist.

With less than 2 minutes remaining, Grahame went to the bench for an extra attacker but Pascal Dupuis was whistled for interference at 18:48. After three missed chances, Junland found the open net to secure the win for the Rivermen.

Grahame finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots in goal.

The Monsters are now 30-29-0-5.

Story courtesy of Peoria Rivermen


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