1st Goals and Cann's Goaltending Earn Win

A pair of Monsters scored their first professional goals to lift Lake Erie (3-6-1-0) to a 2-1 win over the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies (5-2-1-0) at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night. Brad Malone and Eric Hunter scored the Lake Erie goals, and Trevor Cann turned away 31 Toronto shots in the Monsters first home victory of the season.

Joe Colborne, the American Hockey League’s leading scorer entering Friday’s contest, put Toronto on the board first when he capitalized on a Monsters turnover at 12:48 of the opening period. Colborne deked Cann on a breakaway for the unassisted goal, his eighth in eight games for Toronto, and the 1-0 lead.

The Monsters countered in the second period on a play that began with Luke Walker sacrificing his body to make a pass; Walker absorbed a hit from Toronto defenseman Matt Lashoff, but played a puck ahead for Justin Mercier. Mercier was denied on his scoring opportunity, but rookie Malone was at the scene for the rebound and the goal, his first as a pro, to tie the game at 1-1. Walker and Mercier were credited with the assists.

Mercier’s hard work on the forecheck continued into the third period and it helped the Monsters generate the game-winner. After Mike Kompon found Mercier on a pass in the left circle, Mercier fired a shot that was stopped by Toronto goalie Jussi Rynnas. The rebound was snagged by Hunter, who snapped a backhand into the goal for his first as a pro and the eventual game-winner. Mercier’s assist was his second of the game, and Kompon also assisted on the goal for his first point as a Monster.

In a chippy game throughout, Toronto was 0-for-7 on the power play while the Monsters were 0-for-3.

Cann improves his personal record to 3-6-0; he stopped 31 shots. Rynnas turned away 31 of 33 Monsters shots in the game, and his personal record falls to 1-1-1; each of Rynnas’ three starts on the season have been against the Monsters.

The Monsters are now 2-2 against the Marlies so far this season and the teams will play for the fifth time on Sunday afternoon at The Q. The puck drops at 2:00 p.m.

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