Monsters Move Along, Meet Milwaukee

Labatt Blue
What's on Tap
The Lake Erie Monsters continue their push toward a berth in the playoffs Wednesday, traveling to Milwaukee to take on the Admirals for the fourth and final time in the 2009-10 regular season. To date, Lake Erie is 2-0-0-1 against Milwaukee this season and holds an all-time mark of 5-0-1-1 against the Admirals. Wednesday’s contest is also the fifth game of Lake Erie’s season long seven-game road trip that occurs in an 11-day span.

Heading into Wednesday, the Monsters already have an advantage as two of Milwaukee’s top three scorers – Cal O’Reilly and Colin Wilson – have been called up to Milwaukee’s parent club, the Nashville Predators.

Without O’Reilly and Wilson, the Admirals will understandably be missing some firepower. But offensive output is something that shouldn’t be a concern for the Monsters. Two Lake Erie forwards – Darren Haydar and T.J. Hensick – are in the top 20 in the AHL scoring race. Haydar’s 55 points (22G, 33A) are 17th in the league while Hensick is 20th overall with 54 points (18G, 36A). Lake Erie is also in the top 10 in team offense in the AHL, as their 3.02 goals per game average is good for ninth in the league.

Wednesday will also be a point of nostalgia for Haydar, as he returns to Milwaukee, a team he suited up for from 2002-06. Appearing in 293 regular season contests with the Admirals, Haydar registered 276 points (110G, 176A). The highlight of Haydar’s time spent in America’s Dairy Land was undoubtedly the spring of 2004, when he recorded 26 points (11G, 15A) in 22 playoff games en route to a Calder Cup.

Should Wednesday’s game head into the extra session, it will be interesting to see which team would earn the extra point. Both Milwaukee and Lake Erie have had success in the five-minute sudden death frame, as the Monsters have an unblemished 3-0 mark in the extra session while the Admirals are 4-1 in overtime this season.

After Wednesday’s game, the Monsters wrap up their road trip playing a crucial pair of games against the Abbotsford Heat Friday and Saturday. Although the Monsters are eight points behind Abbotsford in the North Division standings, Lake Erie has two games in hand on the third-place Heat, and will need to return to Cleveland with a few points should they wish to remain in the hunt for their first ever playoff berth. Currently, Lake Erie sits four points behind the Manitoba Moose for the fourth and final spot in the North Division playoff race. 

Wednesday's game 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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