Monsters Get Near Shutout over Amerks

In their first game of the season against Rochester, the Lake Erie Monsters claimed a 4-1 victory over the Americans in front of 9,017 fans at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday. Goaltender Jason Bacashihua held Rochester off the score sheet until midway through the third period, when the Americans scored a power play goal for their only goal of the night.

With the win, Lake Erie improves to 9-4-2-2 at home and 14-14-3-4 overall, while moving into a two-way tie with Grand Rapids for fifth place in the North Division.

Lake Erie’s Patrick Rissmiller broke a scoreless tie at 13:13 of the opening period. From the top of the left circle, Rissmiller snapped a shot into the upper left corner of the net for his seventh of the season. Center Ryan Stoa assisted for his second point in as many outings.

The first period ended with Lake Erie up 1-0, while both teams recorded eight shots.

A fast-paced second period was scoreless until the 18:31 mark, when Justin Mercier picked off a loose puck and rifled a shot into the top right corner of the net. On the goal, Julian Talbot picked up his 15th assist of the season, tying him with Ben Walter for the team lead. Luke Walker also assisted for his second of the season.

The second period ended with the Monsters ahead 2-0 after outshooting the Americans 12-7 in the frame.

In the third period, the Monsters pushed their lead to 3-0 when David van der Gulik notched a power play marker for his second goal in as many games. Since being reassigned to Lake Erie by parent club Colorado on December 14th, van der Gulik has played five games and scored twice. Montgomery assisted for his third two-assist game of the season. Rissmiller also assisted, marking his fourth point (1G, 3A) in his last two games and his fourth multi-point game of the season.

The Americans (15-16-2-1) made the score 3-1 and ended Lake Erie’s shutout bid at 12:29 of the third. Michal Repik scored on a power play opportunity off assists from Chris Taylor and Mike Kostka.

Just 1:38 later, the Monsters regained their three-goal lead off Matt Ford’s 10th goal of the season. Ford ties Stoa and Mark Olver for the team lead in goals. With two assists on the night, Stoa marked his third point (1G, 2A) in his last two games and fifth multi-point outing of the season. Walter also assisted for his second helper in as many games and his team-leading 24th point (6G, 16A).

Bacashihua made 24 saves on 25 shots, taking third star honors and pushing his record to 9-9-2 on the season. Rochester’s Jacob Markstrom turned aside 22 shots in the loss. Markstrom owns an 11-14-0 record on the season.

Lake Erie will face the Americans seven more times this season, four of which will take place in January.

The Monsters will immediately travel to Hamilton on Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff, before returning home to host the Bulldogs on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Lake Erie is 1-0-0-0 this season against the division-leading Bulldogs (5-1 W, Nov. 10).

Three Stars: LE Mercier (GW goal); 2. LE Rissmiller (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. LE Bacashihua (24 saves)

David Quinn Postgame Interview
Jason Bacashihua Postgame Interview

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