Third Period Dominance Brings Win in Houston

Serpentini Chevrolet
Mark McCutcheon
After losing five of their last six games, the Monsters got back on the winning track in a big way on Tuesday.  Lake Erie used five goals in the third period - tying a franchise high - to defeat the Aeros, 6-2, in Houston.  The third period goals all came within less than seven minutes.

The six goals ties a season high, set previously in a 6-4 win over Hamilton on November 9th. The four-goal win differential also ties a season high, matching the 4-0 victory on December 20th against Syracuse.

Tuesday's game was also Lake Erie's most individually productive of the season, with five different players recording multiple points each, led by Mark McCutcheon with three (2G, 1A).  Phil Dupuis (1G, 1A), Bryan Marshall (1G, 1A), Ryan Cruthers (2A), and Codey Burki (2A) all had two points each.  Cruthers, signed by the Monsters on Friday, was playing in just his third game with the team.  Randy Rowe scored Lake Erie's third goal of the night - and eventual game winner - in his first game with the Monsters after signing with the team on Sunday.

The scoring didn't get started until the second period, when McCutcheon scored at the 5:44 mark, assisted by Burki and Cruthers. 

The home Aeros answered a minute later.  Tomas Mojzis evened the score with his goal at 6:56, helped by Maxim Noreau and Bryan Lundbohm. 

Houston would go into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead after Mojzis found the back of the net again at 17:45 on the power play. Jesse Schultz and Corey Locke were given the assists.  It would turn out to be the last offensive power the Aeros would muster for the rest of the game.

The third period belonged all to the Monsters. After neither team lit the lamp in the first half of the frame, Lake Erie started their scoring barrage at the 11:17 mark, with a shorthanded goal by Dupuis, and never looked back.  It was the fifth shorthanded score of the year for the Monsters.

Newcomer Rowe followed immediately with his first goal in a Monsters uniform at 11:56, assisted by Marshall and Cruthers. 

McCutcheon found the back of the net for the second time of the night at the 13:18 point of the third.  He was helped by Burki and Ray Macias.

Marshall took matters into his own hands at 15:02 off a pass from McCutcheon.

Finally, Nathan Smith scored on an empty net at 18:04, assisted by Dupuis, giving the Monsters the 6-2 win.

The victory was the first multi-point game of the season for McCutcheon, Marshall, Cruthers and Burki.

Lake Erie netminder Tyler Weiman recorded 27 saves on 29 shots.  Across the ice, Aeros goalie Barry Brust had 17 saves on 23 shots faced.

The Monsters wrap up their three-game - and seven of eight games - road trip in San Antonio on New Year's Day.

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