Monsters Host IceHogs for Pair of Games

Monsters vs. IceHogs

When these two teams met in Rockford on December 18th, the IceHogs skated to a 2-1 overtime victory.

That game was scoreless until the third period when both teams got on the board to set up an overtime session.

In OT, Peter LeBlanc scored the decisive tally at the :53 mark, taking assists from Garnet Exelby and Rob Klinkhammer.

Lake Erie’s power play went 0-for-4 in the game, while the IceHogs converted on one of six chances with the man advantage.

John Grahame turned aside 29 of 31 shots in goal for the Monsters.

At the other end, Hannu Toivonen stopped 25 of 26 shots faced in the Rockford win.

The Monsters and IceHogs will meet three times in the month of March.

Bacon Bits

The IceHogs enter tonight’s game with a 24-29-3-4 record, placing them eighth in a competitive West Division.

Rockford has posted a 4-6-0-0 mark in its last 10 games.

The ‘Hogs are 11-14-1-2 on the road this season.

Their offense is led by center Jeff Taffe, who has totaled 48 points (22G, 26A) in 54 games played. Brian Connelly is Rockford’s most offensive defenseman, as he’s posted 38 points (5G, 33A) in 60 games this year.

Defenseman Kyle Hagel has racked up 185 penalty minutes this season, placing him second (Zac Rinaldo ADK, 225) among AHL rookies. Hagel has dropped the mitts 25 times this year, which is also the second-most among first-year players (Rinaldo ADK, 27) and fourth overall in the circuit.

Q Tips

Lake Erie rides a franchise-high six-game home winning streak into tonight’s contest.

The Monsters have not lost at The Q since falling in a shootout (5-4) to San Antonio back on February 5th.

Lake Erie’s current seven-game home point streak (6-0-0-1) is also a franchise best.

With a 3-2 triumph over Grand Rapids last Saturday, February 26th, Lake Erie marked its 20th home win of the season, tying a franchise mark for home victories in a single campaign (2008-09).

By the Numbers... 

The Monsters are on the cusp of reaching two major franchise milestones. Their overall record of 31-24-3-5 (70 pts) places them just seven points shy of tying the most single-season points in franchise history (2009-10, 77). In addition, Lake Erie is just three victories away from tying its franchise mark for wins in a season (34, 2008-09 and 2009-10).

Pacing Play

Center Ben Walter is currently on a seven-game point streak (2G, 9A), the longest of any Monster this season. Walter’s streak ties for the third-longest in franchise history (David Jones, 10; T.J. Hensick, 9).

David van der Gulik has recorded five points (1G, 4A) in his last three games.

Greg Mauldin carries a five-game point streak (3G, 3A) into tonight’s contest.

Matt Ford has recorded six points (5G, 1A) in his last six outings.

Julien Brouillette has dished out two helpers in his last two games.

Between the Pipes

Goaltending has been one of Lake Erie’s many strong points since the first of the year. After John Grahame was named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for his efforts in January, Jason Bacashihua followed up with a 6-1-1 record in February. Bacashihua posted a 2.13 GAA and a .929 save percentage through eight appearances that month.

Broadcaster Ben Holden previews this weekend's matchup:

 


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