Road Trip Ends with Another Loss

Photos courtesy of W2 Photography and Jeff Bough Photography
The Lake Erie Monsters finally ended their season-high seven-game, 11-day road trip on Saturday night, finishing with a 5-3 loss in Abbotsford. Lake Erie lost six of the seven games, and has gone 4-10 over the past month. The team is now 30-31-0-7 and five points out of the North Division playoffs.

The Monsters and Heat met on Friday night, with Abbotsford recording a 3-2 shootout win. Lake Erie came back from a 2-0 deficit late in the third to send it to overtime and eventually the shootout.

On Saturday Abbotsford again got out to an early lead when Garth Murray scored at the 8:24 mark of the first period, assisted by Josh Meyers and Cam Cunning.

Lake Erie responded by scoring on the power play less than two minutes later. Tom Preissing put the Monsters on the scoreboard at 11:06 with helpers from T.J. Hensick and Brian Willsie.

Abbotsford would one-up the Monsters before the end of the first when Staffan Kronwall found the back of the net at 18:33 on the power play. Andy Delmore and Olivier Latendresse were credited with the assists, sending the Heat to the intermission with a 2-1 lead.

Jason Jaffray would continue the Heat offense with his goal at 7:18 of the second period, potting what would be the first of his three goals on the night. Keith Seabrook and David Van der Gulik assisted.

Ryan Stoa cut the Heat lead to one with his power play marker at 14:24, assisted by Hensick and Preissing. Stoa also scored in Friday's meeting with Abbotsford.

It did not take long for the Heat to increase their lead once again. Jaffray converted on a power play at 17:04, assisted by Kronwall and Latendresse.

Jaffray struck yet again less than two minutes later, netting his third goal of the night and his team's fifth at 18:58 of the second period, and putting the Heat up 5-2 to end the frame. Colin Stuart and Van der Gulik assisted on the score.

Preissing cut the Abbotsford lead to two almost immediately after the start of the third period. The defenseman scored one minute into the session, assisted by Brian Fahey.

The Monsters would only muster four more shots in the third, failing to find the back of the net and falling by the 5-3 score.

Lake Erie goalie John Grahame, who has started seven straight games since joining the Monsters in early March, recorded 23 saves on 28 shots. Across the ice, Heat netminder Leland Irving posted 21 saves on 24 shots faced.

The Monsters will now return home and wait until Friday to host the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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