Monsters Finish Trip On a High Note

Needing a win, the Monsters went into Quad City and got one, defeating the Flames, 2-1, on Saturday. 

Lake Erie was finishing up a tough week, Saturday being the last of four games in five nights, including the third straight night of competition.  Tuesday the team was able to somewhat-handily pick off Chicago at home, before losing at The Q to Rochester on Thursday, then falling in Peoria on Friday.  Saturday's win pushes the Monsters up to fifth place in the North Division, now one point ahead of Grand Rapids. 

Saturday was the fourth meeting between Lake Erie and Quad City this season, with the Monsters holding the series advantage, 2-0-0-1, heading into the game.  Most recently, the Monsters solidly defeated the Flames in Quad City on March 12th. 

In the first three matchups, Chris Stewart, Brad Richardson and T.J. Hensick had four points apiece, while Eric Healey and Wyatt Smith had three each.  Stewart, Healey and Smith led the Monsters again in defeating Quad City on their own ice, the trio accounting for all six of Lake Erie's points on Saturday.

The Flames showed their home ice advantage, getting on the board first.  Derek Couture scored at the 8:09 mark of the opening period, off assists from Gerry Burke and Brandon Prust.

That would, however, be the only scoring for either team for almost two full periods. 

Smith finally broke the game's scoring drought when he found the back of the net 4:55 into the third.  Stewart and Healey assisted on the game-tying goal. 

Exactly seven minutes later, Stewart took matters into his own hands and gave Lake Erie the lead, which they would not relinquish.  His goal at 11:55 was assisted by none other than Healey and Smith. 

The last eight minutes of the contest would go score-free again, giving the Monsters the 2-1 win. 

Although Quad City significantly outshot the Monsters through the first two quarters, 22-9, Lake Erie made up for it when it counted, outshooting the Flames, 9-3, in the final period.

Lake Erie goaltender Mike Wall was nearly flawless, giving up just one goal on 25 shots.  He has now won five of his last six starts in goal.  Quad City netminder Curtis McElhinney had 16 saves on 18 shots.

The Monsters will now return home for Easter dinner before preparing to host the Manitoba Moose in a crucial divisional matchup on Tuesday.

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