Crunch Power Plays Too Much for Monsters

The Syracuse Crunch scored three power play markers en route to beating the Lake Erie Monsters, 4-1, at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night.

The game began with a tally off the stick of Crunch leading scorer Joakim Lindstrom, as he posted his 12th goal of the season. Lindstrom’s power play tally at 6:06 of the first came from defensemen Clay Wilson and Aaron Rome.

Not to be outdone, Chris Stewart launched a wrister from the high slot at the 8:23 mark of the first to tie the game up at 1-1. Crunch goaltender Tomas Popperle left the right side open and Stewart attacked the net. David Jones and Rob Drummond were credited with the assists. Drummond’s assist is his first as a Monster.

“We had a really good first period, but you just have to stick to the game plan and play for 60 minutes,” said Stewart.

The Crunch then went on a scoring run to end the second with tallies from Derek Dorsett (5:34) and Zenon Konopka (18:33). Dorsett’s marker occurred with only :03 seconds remaining in the power play for Syracuse.

At the 4:52 mark of the third, Jones took off on a breakaway, only to be slashed by Crunch defender Rome. His slash caused Jones to barrel into the net, and more importantly, Popperle. Jones was unfazed from the hit, but Popperle took a while to rise and favored his left leg. Syracuse head coach Ross Yates was forced to put in backup goaltender Curtis Darling to replace his fallen netminder. Darling had not yet seen action in a game for the Crunch this season.

With less than a minute remaining, Crunch center Derek MacKenzie scored on an open net to put the final score at 4-1.

“Last game we were able to get three goals on the power play. Tonight we had no rhythm together at all. We just need to keep things more simple and be more aggressive,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco.

Lake Erie netminder Jason Bacashihua finished the game with 20 stops on 23 tries. Opposing goaltender Popperle denied 17 of the 18 he faced, while his backup Darling stopped four of four shots.

Next for the Lake Erie Monsters is a two-game roadie against the Manitoba Moose. The Monsters come back to The Q next Friday, December 21st, at 7:30 p.m. to face the Peoria Rivermen.

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“It took a little bit of time for Stewart to get adjusted to the AHL style of playing. Chris has some talent, he is a big man, and is using his body well, and is making huge strides right now.” - Monsters head coach Joe Sacco | More game quotes


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