First Loss Comes At Home Against Norfolk

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The Lake Erie Monsters opened up the scoring early in the game, but couldn’t muster enough offense to get past the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.

It was a case of the Monsters running into a hot goalie as the Admirals’ Kari Ramo turned aside 38 of 41 Lake Erie shots en route to a 4-2 Norfolk win.

“Ramo played very well. We ended up with over 40 shots on goal and some good quality chances,” said Monsters head coach Joe Sacco. “He came up really big for them and he deserves a lot of credit for their win tonight.”

The Monsters started out the scoring 1:24 into the game when Andy Rogers attempted to clear a Brian Willsie rebound and put it into his own net. Willsie would get credited with the goal and Per Ledin would pick up an assist on the play. But Norfolk would respond less than a minute later. On the power play, Paul Szczechura would take a Brandon Bochenski feed from between the circles and rip a one-timer past Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman.

The strong play of Weiman would keep the Monsters in the game as the goalie made several spectacular saves in the first 20 minutes of the game. Minutes after Norfolk had tied the game, Weiman turned away a two-on-one break, denying Brandon Segal with a quick glove. Weiman would frustrate Segal later in the period, as he shut the door on the Admirals right winger when he on attempted to go five hole on a breakaway.

The only goal of the second period would come at the 5:21 mark, as Radek Smolenak took a feed from behind the net, just lifting the puck over the blocker of Weiman, giving Norfolk a 2-1 lead.

In his first game with Lake Erie, Philippe Dupuis immediately found his scoring touch. Crashing the net, Dupuis one-timed a feed from behind the goal, slamming home a pass from Matt Hendricks to knot the game at two. Aaron MacKenzie would be credited with the second assist on the goal.

“I felt pretty good. After a few hits I started getting more confident,” said Dupuis. “Skating wise, I got in shape all week so I have been skating, practicing and doing a little extra. I felt pretty good out there.”

The game wouldn’t stay tied for long as two minutes later, Szczechura would beat Wieman again, giving Norfolk the lead, 3-2. With just over eight minutes left in the third, Bochenski sealed the deal for the Admirals, putting a snapshot off the post, careening past the low glove side of Weiman.

The Monsters won’t have too much time to dwell on the loss as they come right back to play a familiar foe, the Grand Rapids Griffins, on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at The Q.

“I said to them after the game that we have 30 minutes to think about this one then we have to put it behind us,” said Sacco. “We have to be ready for tomorrow and have a good start. Grand Rapids did not play tonight and was probably here watching the game I am sure. I say the same thing to the players, whether we win or lose, that you have about 30 minutes then you have to look forward to the next game.“

“The game is at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow so we have to erase this game from our minds right away and focus on the game tomorrow,” said Dupuis. “We need to not think about it and focus on tomorrow’s game.”

In their first meeting, which was the home and season opener for the Monsters, Lake Erie won the game, 4-3, on an overtime goal from Willsie on October 11th.

Sights and Sounds
Philippe Dupuis Interview
Coach Joe Sacco Interview
Quote, Unquote

“Goaltending is critical when your killing penalties and I think our players are doing a really good job on our penalty killing. I think when they figure out the system that we are trying to put in place and everyone has to buy into it then it will be better. Penalty killing is really hard work for the four guys that are out there. You really have to out work the five power play guys and so far we have been doing a really good job with that.” - Head Coach  Joe Sacco


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