Admirals Return to Face Monsters

Tonight, the Lake Erie Monsters (25-21-2-7) will see the Milwaukee Admirals (25-21-3-3) for the first time since the Monsters topped the Admirals 7-1 at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night; all of the action begins in Downtown Cleveland at 7:00 PM. Since Thursday’s game, the two teams have seen opposite outcomes; the Monsters were winless over their last two games, 4-2 regulation loss Saturday and 4-3 shootout loss Friday to the Texas Stars. Milwaukee is coming off back-to-back wins, most recently topping Hamilton on Sunday, as well as Toronto on Saturday. The Monsters have points in 12 of their last 17 games, with their record over that time standing at 6-5-0-6. Entering the day, the Monsters have a three-point advantage over Milwaukee in the Western Conference standings, but Milwaukee has played three fewer games, adding importance to tonight’s clash at The Q.

The Monsters fell behind 3-0 on Saturday against AHL-leading Texas, and were unable to overcome the deficit. The Monsters power play converted on two-of-four chances, and will need to continue to be successful. The Monsters power play is 8-22 over the last six games, with the team scoring at least one power play goal in five of their last six contests. Karl Stollery and Mike Sgarbossa scored power play goals for the Monsters in Saturday night’s loss.

Paul Carey collected a pair of assists in Saturday’s loss to Texas, giving the first-year forward out of Boston College just the second seven-game point streak this season for a Monsters player. Carey has five goals and four assists over seven games since 2/12/13. The other previous Monsters seven-game point streak this season: Andrew Agozzino, from 12/13/12 to 12/28/12.

The Monsters scored all seven of their goals Thursday night- a Monsters season-high for goals in a game, by the way- against Admirals goalie Jeremy Smith. The Monsters haven’t seen Milwaukee’s other goaltending option- Magnus Hellberg- this season. Hellberg, a 6’5” Swedish goaltender who was a Nashville Predators second round selection (38th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, has won his last six starts in net for Milwaukee. Hellberg, who turns 22 on April 4, has a 1.16 goals against average and .953 save percentage in his current win streak, which began with a 30-save shutout on February 10 against Peoria.

All of tonight’s action, live from Cleveland and beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern, can be heard live on ESPN 850 WKNR with Doug Plagens on the play-by-play.

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