Monsters End Homestand with Win

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The Lake Erie Monsters closed out their season-opening five-game homestand with a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Admirals Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. With the win, the team is now 3-1-0-1 and sits in second place in the North Division.

“I am extremely pleased with the start, seven points out of 10 for the first five games and I think we finished off our homestand pretty strong,” said head coach Joe Sacco.”That’s what we wanted to do before we went on this road trip.”

The Admirals would score first, lighting the lamp at 13:52 of the first period. Admirals left wing Antti Pihlstrom would redirect a shot from the point through the five hole of Jason Bacashihua, giving the Admirals their only lead of the game.

T.J. Galiardi would score his first professional goal less than two minutes later, at 15:46, to tie the game at one. As Tom Fritsche circled behind the net, he put a pass right on the stick of Galiardi, who, with the quick flick of a wrist, put the puck behind Admirals goalie Drew MacIntyre. Darcy Campbell would register his first point of the season, adding the second assist on the goal.

The second period, from an offensive standpoint, would prove to be the most productive of the young season for the Monsters as their offense ignited for three goals in a 10-minute span in the second frame.

“The second period seems to be the period we like to play,” said forward T.J. Hensick. “We played well and gained some confidence off our power plays.”

Derek Peltier would register his first professional goal at the 4:23 mark of the second to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead. Sneaking in from his spot at the point, Peltier would one-time a cross-ice feed from Hensick over the glove of a helpless MacIntyre. Per Ledin would be credited with the second assist on the goal.

The remarkable playmaking skills of Hensick would only continue, as five minutes later Hensick would put a puck behind his back and onto the stick of a white-hot Brian Willsie, who would take the pass and fire a wrist shot past the block of MacIntyre, notching his fifth goal in as many games. Kevin Montgomery would be credited with the second assist on the goal, his first point as a professional, at 9:46 of the second.

At the 14:21 point of the second period, tireless work from Chris Durno would put the Monsters up 4-1. Battling in front of the cage on his knees, Durno would whack away at the puck three times before he would push it under the leg of MacIntyre. The assists on the goal were given to Mike Vernace and Campbell.

Down three goals with only 20 minutes left, the Admirals wouldn’t go down without a fight. At 13:28 of the third, Kelsey Wilson cut the lead in half, making it a 4-2 game. With MacIntyre pulled in favor of a sixth attacker, Cal O’Reilly would rip a rebound past the extended glove of Bacashihua with four seconds left in the third, bringing the Admirals within one. But the comeback attempt would prove to be too little too late, as Hensick would push the puck forward on the proceeding face-off to ice the victory.

The Monsters will play their next six games on the road after opening the first five at The Q, beginning Friday in Iowa.

“This win gives the guys a sense that we can win and that we are off to a good start,” said Sacco. “While on the road we will not be quite as tight, so we should be able to go out and play our game and have success.”

The Monsters will return to The Q on Sunday, November 9th at 5:00 p.m. to play host to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Sights and Sounds
T.J. Hensick Interview
Coach Joe Sacco Interview
Quote, Unquote

“It feels good to come out and lead the team on and off the ice. The pucks are going in the net for me right now and every goal is a big one for us. It feels good to contribute and come out with some victories.” - Right wing Brian Willsie


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