Here Comes Another Three-in-Three

The Lake Erie Monsters are continuing their five-game stretch of road games with a pair in Syracuse and another game in Toronto between Friday and Sunday.

Last season, the Monsters took both meetings with the Crunch, who they’ll meet four times in all this season. On paper, taking on the Crunch and Marlies requires a similar mindset: stop the top scoring line from each team.

The Crunch is off to a 2-0-0-1 start, and a large reason for the team’s earning of a point in each contest is their top forward, Kyle Palmieri. The Anaheim Ducks’ 2009 first-round draft choice has five goals in three games to start the season; a total that matches that of the Monsters team to this point in the young season. Nick Bonino has been Palmieri’s table setter, registering five assists in the Crunch’s first three games.

The Marlies dynamic duo up front includes 21-year-old Joe Colborne, who picked up a goal and three assists in Toronto’s back-to-back wins over the Monsters on last weekend. Joey Crabb, who centers Toronto’s top line, had a pair of goals and three assists over the same pair of games. The added difference-maker for Toronto this weekend could be Nazem Kadri, the Toronto Maple Leafs first round draft choice (seventh overall) in 2009. Kadri was injured in the preseason, and was assigned Wednesday to the Marlies, for whom he registered 41 points in 44 games in his first professional campaign last season.

The Monsters power play continues to be the focal point. Entering Friday’s game, the Monsters are the only team in the American Hockey League without a power play goal this season, and coincidentally are the only team on the circuit that doesn’t have a point in the standings.

Considering four of the Monsters five losses have been by two goals or less, a few power play tallies could certainly mean the difference between wins and losses at this point.

Also, watch to see if a pair of added forwards have a chance to make an impact for the Monsters during the second of their five three-games-in-three-days stretches this season. Adrian Foster, a first round pick back in 2001, and Mike Kompon, who has averaged over a point-per-game in six of his seven professional seasons, were signed by the Monsters during the week.

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