The View from the Booth...From Austin

Hello again hockey fans, today I am writing to you from deep in the heart of Texas again.  This time we are back in Austin, where we won 4-0 on Tuesday to start our three-game road swing through the Lone Star state.  So far we are 2-0 on the trip after the 4-0 win against the Stars and then a hard-fought 1-0 win Wednesday night in Houston against the Aeros.

A lot has changed with our team since I last wrote to you: Tyler Weiman is now up with the Colorado Avalanche, he was called up Thursday afternoon. I had a chance to talk with Tyler before he left, he was obviously very, very excited to get called up to the big club. The move came less than 24 hours after he was between the pipes for the 1-0 shutout of the Aeros Wednesday night. I asked Tyler how surprised he was to get the call up and he said he was very surprised and extremely excited to get to Denver, as the Avalanche play Carolina tonight and the Detroit Red Wings Saturday Night at Pepsi Center. Tyler is a great young man, very positive person, and I wish him the very best in his time with the Avalanche.

Chris Stewart is also back up with the Avalanche, he was called up Thursday as well.  Chris played in two games with the Monsters on this Texas trip.  In the short time he was with us I got to see what a class person he is, he couldn't have been nicer and I wish him well also.

This morning at our skate at the Cedar Park Center where tonight's game vs. Texas will be played, goaltender Billy Sauer joined the hockey club.  He started his day at 3:30 am as he left from Charlotte, where he was playing with the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers.  In one game with the Checkers, Billy was 1-0.  He will backup Trevor Cann tonight, who will make his third pro start, this after his first pro win Tuesday vs. the Stars, a 4-0 shutout.

David Marshall was sent to Charlotte Thursday morning.  David is a hard-working player who I have a lot of respect for because he plays the game hard and with a lot of passion, grit and fire.  I wish him well in Charlotte.

As for tonight's game vs. the Texas Stars, I expect our hockey club will come out focused and fired up.  This road trip has been great for our team, starting with the two shutout wins, something the Monsters have never done on the road in franchise history.  That is two straight road shutouts, very impressive for the guys. I thought our defense played great Wednesday night in Houston.  Wes O'Neill played a very good game...the whole "D" did for that matter.  I also thought Brian Fahey played a very good, physical brand of hockey.  I talked with Brian after the morning skate, he is one of my player profiles tonight during the intermissions.  Chris Durno is the other, and Chris is having a tremendous start to the season playing on that top line with Darren Haydar and Phil Dupuis.  I think I'm going to start calling them the 3D line.  However, Durno thinks maybe we should call them 2 Ds and an H. Whatever the case is, they are all playing great hockey right now.

As I wrote to you from Houston, whenever you're on the road there are always people you run into and chat with, like Houston Rockets head coach Rick Adelman and injured center Yao Ming, who I ran into Wednesday at Toyota Center in Houston.

This afternoon after we returned from the morning skate, I grabbed a bite to eat, and walked outside to enjoy the Texas weather.  It was low 70s and not a cloud in the sky by the way.  I ran into a rock band from Atlanta, the name of the band is Soul Stash.  They were a great group of guys.  They saw my Monsters logo on my team warmup jacket and I walked over to their car.  Turns out they are big hockey fans and wanted to talk some hockey, which we did.  We also talked about their band.  They are in Texas playing some gigs and me being the rock-and-roll/metal fan that I am, I asked about their band.  By the end of the conversation they gave me one of their cds, which has a great sound to it by the way. They were awesome to talk with as they headed off to the Austin highway.

That's it for this installment of The View from the Booth.  After tonight we head back to Cleveland tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to the game tonight, I hope you can join me...the game will be streamed live on beginning at 8:30 p.m. or you can listen and watch through AHL Live, tonight they are offering a free preview for fans.

Talk to you soon and I hope to see you at The Q next weekend as we will play three straight.  Friday and Saturday we host Peoria, and then Sunday vs. Abbotsford. If you can't make it out, you can always tune into ESPN 850 WKNR or watch Saturday's game on MY43 WUAB beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Until then, this is Ben Holden signing off from Austin, Texas with another installment of The View from the Booth.


Ben Holden.

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