LEM Dominate HAM for 4th Win in 5 Games

Brad Malone scored with 0.2 seconds remaining in the first period to put the Lake Erie Monsters (8-9-1-1) on top for good in a 5-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs (6-10-1-1) before a Quicken Loans Arena crowd of 8,339 Friday evening. Malone registered a career-high three points and David van der Gulik extended his assist streak to five games in the win, the fourth in the last five games for the Monsters.

Justin Mercier put the Monsters on the board at 1:40 of the first period when he streaked through the slot area and fired a backhand shot by Hamilton goalie Robert Mayer for his third goal of the season. Hugh Jessiman registered an assist on the goal giving him points in three straight games. Eric Hunter also assisted on Mercier’s goal.

Hamilton boasted the American Hockey League’s seventh-ranked power play entering the evening and the Bulldogs capitalized on the man advantage early in the game. Alexander Avtsin took the rebound from a Joe Callahan point shot, sent it across the crease and Louis LeBlanc was there for the equalizer for the Bulldogs.

With the game tied 1-1, the Monsters worked to the final horn in the first period. Ryan Stoa played a loose puck on the end boards that eventually found its way to Malone at the side of the net. He fired the puck top-shelf to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead with 0.2 left in the first period. Joel Chouinard also assisted on Malone’s third goal of the season.

In the second period on a five-on-three power play, van der Gulik sent a point-to-point pass to Tyson Barrie, whose one-timer was denied by Mayer. However, Evan Brophey was in position for the rebound goal, his sixth of the season, to give the Monsters a 3-1 lead at 9:50 of the second period.

The Monsters power play wasn’t done, as Cameron Gaunce banged home a one-timer from the top of the right circle to give the Monsters a 4-1 lead at 17:13 of the second period on the man-advantage. Jake Newton and Malone assisted on the goal.

In the third period, Malone found the puck on a Hamilton turnover, and distributed it to Jessiman in front of the net, who capitalized for his sixth goal of the season, making the score 5-1 in favor of the Monsters.

Cedrick Desjardins stopped 21 of 22 shots to improve to 5-2-1 for the Monsters. Robert Mayer stopped 42 of a season-high 47 shots from the Monsters in the loss; he is 1-5-0.

The Monsters next game is Saturday in Hershey against the Bears. The puck drops at 7:00 PM, and the game can be heard live on AM 1220 WHKW. The Monsters then return home to meet the Houston Aeros Wednesday at 7:00 PM.

NOTES: David van der Gulik has a five-game assist streak; his five-game point streak is the longest for a Monster this season… Greg Mauldin’s four-game point streak was snapped Friday against Hamilton… Hugh Jessiman has goals in three straight games… Brad Malone registered his first career three-point game in the 5-1 win over Hamilton… The goaltending matchup featured two goalies who have carried the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones to Kelly Cup Championships: Desjardins in 2008 and Mayer in 2010… The Monsters 47 shots on net eclipsed their previous season-high and was only two shy of the franchise all-time high... Jessiman, Evan Brophey, and van der Gulik are tied for the Monsters lead in goals on the season with six.

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