Moose Outpower Monsters on New Year's Eve

The play of special teams can often either make or break a game for a team.  The Lake Erie Monsters saw that the hard way on Monday, falling in Manitoba, 3-1.  The power play decided the New Year's Eve contest, as the Monsters could not stop the Moose when they had the advantage, and could not convert on their own.  Manitoba was 3/6 on the power play, with all three of their goals coming on the man advantage, while Lake Erie was 0/6.

These two teams just met on Friday, with Manitoba leaving Cleveland with the same result, a 3-1 win.  On Monday the Moose picked up right where they left off, getting on the board early with a goal by right wing Milan Gijac at 4:30 in the opening period.  He was assisted on the power play marker by Danny Groulx and Shaun Heshka. 

Lake Erie's defense held the Moose at bay for the remainder of the first period, and through the midway point of the second.  However, there was a minute-and-a-half lapse, resulting in two quick Manitoba scores.  Heshka and Gajic set up Michael Grabner to score at 10:17, followed almost immediately by Gajic's second goal and third point of the night.  He found the back of the net at 11:50, assisted by Grabner and Greg Classen.  Both Moose goals came again on the power play.

Manitoba held a 3-0 lead until halfway through the third period, when Jamie Lundmark put the Monsters on the board at the 10:29 mark.  The assists were credited to Dale Purinton and Eric Healey.  The goal was Lundmark's second in as many games, while Healey's helper was his fourth in the last four games.  The 3-1 score would finish the game.

After missing three weeks with an injury, Tyler Weiman started his second straight game in goal for the Monsters on Monday.  He deflected 19 of 22 shots.  Manitoba goalie Drew MacIntyre posted 20 saves on 21 shots.

While Monday's score was the same as Friday's matchup between the two teams, Lake Erie's defense was actually much tighter this time around.  In the prior contest, the Monsters defense allowed 37 shots on goal, but in Monday's game, only 22. 

Lake Erie will look to continue that defensive effort and start 2008 with a win, when the teams meet again on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.


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