Monsters Defeat Stars 4-0

Point contributions from 12 different Lake Erie Monsters (3-1-0-0) helped the team to a 5-3 comeback victory on the road over Oklahoma City (2-2-0-0) Saturday night, and the Monsters four-game road swing continues this evening in Cedar Park, Texas against the Texas Stars (2-2-0-0); the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The action can be heard live at 6:00 PM Eastern on AM 1220 WHKW. The Monsters are back in Oklahoma City for a 7:00 PM faceoff Tuesday night to conclude the road swing, and the season series with the Barons.

The Monsters and Barons began a see-saw tilt over the first 40 minutes, with the teams tied at 1-1 after one period and the Monsters trailing 3-2 after two periods. The third period, though, was all Monsters. Three power play goals- the Monsters converted on three of four power play opportunities on the night- and some key saves at key moments- such as Sami Aittokallio’s robbery of the Barons Jordan Eberle in the final minutes- secured a victory for the Monsters; their third in four games to start the campaign.

A key statistic aside from the points and the solid goaltending- Aittokallio, by the way, has now won in his first two starts of the season- the Monsters allowed the Barons just two power play chances, and the Monsters penalty kill units stood tall. In their previous game on Sunday, the Toronto Marlies had 12 power play chances against the Monsters. The Monsters killed off the two Oklahoma City power plays, and are now off to a 27-28 start on the penalty kill this season.

Tyson Barrie and Thomas Pock, who are both defensemen, continue to help lead the offensive charge for the Monsters. Barrie began the scoring for the Monsters when he followed the rush and received a pass from Bryan Lerg in front of the net for the Monsters first goal on Saturday; a goal that gives him one in three straight, and the team lead with three tallies. Pock scored a power play goal in the third period that tied the game at 3-3. Barrie and Pock are tied for the team lead with five points on the season, while a pair of forwards- Paul Carey and Mark Olver- are tied with four points through four games. Karl Stollery, another defenseman, netted the eventual game-winner on the power play for the Monsters in the third period last night. Goal-scoring contributions from defensemen can be huge; the Monsters were 14-2-2-1 when a defenseman scored for them last season.

Texas is coming off a 5-3 home loss to Houston a night ago in which their starting goalie, Jack Campbell, saw just 12 shots before being pulled; he allowed four goals on the 12 Aeros attempts. It was the club’s second straight loss; both of which were to Houston. Cody Eakin and Tomas Vincour are players to watch for Texas. Eakin paces the stars with three goals and five points through four games, while Vincour has four points in four games.

The Monsters return home to host Abbotsford on Friday and Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena, with both games beginning at 7:30 PM.

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