Monsters Hold on For Division Win

The Lake Erie Monsters wrapped up their only home three-in-three weekend of the season by holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Abbotsford Heat at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday.

With the win, the Monsters improve to 25-22-3-5 overall and 15-8-2-3 on home ice, while they maintain third place in the North Division.

Late in the first period, the Monsters built a 2-0 lead by scoring two goals in a span of 14 seconds. At the 17:23 mark, David van der Gulik gathered the puck at the bottom of the right circle, cut to the net and buried a shot from the top of the goal crease. Van der Gulik was assisted by Ben Walter and Cameron Gaunce. Then at 17:37, Matt Ford scored off a wrist shot from the left circle. Walter assisted for his third helper in his last two games, while Julien Brouillette also recorded an assist.

After the opening 20 minutes the Monsters led 2-0, while they were outshot 11-10 in the period.

The Heat cut their deficit in half at 10:14 of the middle frame. Keith Seabrook took a slap shot from the top of the right circle and Cam Cunning tapped in the rebound from the front of the goal crease. Greg Nemisz also assisted.

Lake Erie regained its two-goal lead and went up 3-1 at 14:11 of the period. In a 4-on-4 situation, Kevin Montgomery took a pass from Travis Gawryletz and scored on a slap shot from the left point. Gawryletz’s assist came as his third in as many games. Mark Olver also recorded a helper, extending his point streak to six games (4G, 4A) to tie a season high among Monsters.

Abbotsford made the score 3-2 with just 19 second remaining in the middle period. From the left corner, Ryan Stone centered a pass to Matt Keith, who scored on a one-timer from close range. Ales Kotalik also assisted. At the end of two periods, the Monsters led 3-2, while they were outshot 13-8 in the frame.

Neither team scored in the third period, as the Monsters recorded 10 shots and held Abbotsford to just four, solidifying a 3-2 victory.

John Grahame stopped 26 of 28 shots in making his 11th start in Lake Erie’s last 13 games. Grahame has posted a record of 9-2-0 during that time.

At the other end, Leland Irving stopped 24 of 27 shots faced. Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, who entered the game for only the final 2:23 of the first period, stopped the lone shot he faced.

The Monsters will be idle until Saturday, February 12th, when they continue a stretch of 12 of 13 home games by hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:30 p.m.

Three Stars: 1. LE Montgomery (GW goal); 2. LE Walter (2 assists); 3. LE Grahame (26 saves)

David Quinn Postgame Interview
David van der Gulik Interview


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