Monsters Lose, Barely, To San Antonio

Lake Erie and San Antonio met for the first time ever just a few weeks ago, playing a weekend back-to-back in Cleveland.  The two games were both decided by a goal.  So it should come as no surprise that when the teams met again, this time in San Antonio, the contest was just as close.  The Rampage edged out the Monsters, 1-0, on Friday. 

The first time Lake Erie and San Antonio faced each other, the Rampage outlasted the Monsters in overtime, 4-3, at The Q on January 31st.  The Rampage drastically outshot the Monsters in the game, 40-27.  The next night, February 1st, Lake Erie rebounded for a 2-1 win over the Texas foe. That time the Lake Erie defense appeared to figure out the offense of San Antonio, as they evened out the shooting, putting up 26 shots to the Rampage's 28.

Friday's game was just as close as the first two matchups, again coming down to one goal.  The shots were again almost even, this time slightly in favor of Lake Erie, 26-24.

While a whopping number of Monsters games this season have been decided by a single goal (29), Friday was the first 1-0 result of the campaign.

Both teams should have been tired entering the game: San Antonio returned home after their 14-game Rodeo Road Trip, and earlier in the week Lake Erie finished playing four games in five nights. Despite of, or because of, that the teams kept pace with each other in the first period.  Neither team could find the back of net, both putting up 11 shots in the set.

The second stanza was quiet on the offensive front, especially for the Monsters, who managed just five shots in the whole period.  The Rampage slightly outperformed them, posting eight shots, and actually converting on one.  Bill Thomas put San Antonio on the board, recording what would prove to be the lone score of the night, at 12:26 of the second.

Lake Erie turned up their offensive production in the third period, blasting 10 shots, compared to just five from the Rampage.  However, neither team was able to capitalize, and the score finished 1-0. 

Despite the offensively-challenged effort overall on the night, the Monsters actually had six power play opportunities, but were not able to take advantage of any.  San Antonio also went 0-2 on the power play.

Mike Wall was in goal for the Monsters, recording 23 saves on 24 shots.  Across the ice, Josh Tordjman blocked all 26 Monsters shots he saw.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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