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Flames Put Out in Monsters First Home WinTweet
The Lake Erie Monsters won the first home game in franchise history as they extinguished the Quad City Flames, 2-0, on Thursday.
The first period was a wash as the Monsters and Flames got physical early. The two teams combined for 19 shots on goal (LEM – 8, QC – 11), but none were netted.
At the 8:36 mark of the second period, the Flames were nearly burnt as Monsters captain Mark Rycroft shot a wrister off the left post that nearly put his team ahead.
As the third period began, bodies flew as did pucks into nets as Matt Hussey launched a wrister that put Lake Erie up, 1-0. Hussey was assisted on the tape-to-tape pass by T.J. Hensick. He was also assisted by defenseman Steve Margeson, who has recorded four points in the last three games.
“We came out of our zone with speed and luckily caught their defense on a line change. We made a give-and-go to T.J. (Hensick) and he gave me a perfect pass and I put it in the net,” said Monsters forward Matt Hussey.
The Monsters continued to play tough in the third, as the Flames couldn’t penetrate the Monsters stout defense. Goaltender Jason Bacashihua made stop after stop against Flames attackers.
“Jason played extremely well tonight. He kept us in there when we struggled and it made a difference in the result. We got superb efforts from Cody McCormick and Hensick. They both showed a strong effort out there tonight. Overall, it was an all-around team effort,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco.
To cap off the scoring for the night, Hensick buried the biscuit in the net with 0:11 seconds remaining and McElhinney on the bench for his first open-netter of the season.
“It opened my eyes a little bit. McCormick made that play happen and I reaped the benefits. Any time you get an open net, your eyes light up,” said Hensick.
The Monsters found their stride for the first time at home this season. Much of the newfound success can be attributed to establishing a relentless work ethic as a team.
“It’s huge for us. We need to establish something in our own arena where teams come in here and make it a tough place to play. There is more to come.”
Bacashihua stood on his head, stopping 38 of the 38 shots he faced, for his first shutout of the season. Opposing netminder Curtis McElhinney saw 20 shots and turned away 19.
The Monsters next contest is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against division foe Toronto at The Q.
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