Monsters Outshoot but Don't Outscore Rampage

In their second home game of the season on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, the Lake Erie Monsters dropped a 4-1 contest to the Western Conference-leading Rampage, despite outshooting San Antonio, 34-21. With the win, San Antonio jumps the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and takes sole possession of first place in the AHL standings with nine points and a 4-0-1-0 record. Lake Erie dropped to 1-3-0-0 with the loss.

“It’s all decision making right now,” said head coach David Quinn. “When you don’t feel good about yourself, you become hesitant and you get what you’re seeing right now.”

Troy Brodie started the scoring for the Rampage, netting his first goal of the season at the 15:55 mark of the first. After Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman kicked out a Jeff Hoggan rebound, Brodie positioned himself well to the side of the Monsters net, snapping a wrist shot past Weiman’s short side.

Two-and-a-half minutes later, former first round pick Kyle Turris would pad San Antonio’s lead on the power play. Skating up the boards, Viktor Tikhonov threw a backhand pass to Turris, who toed the goal line and ripped a wrist shot over Weiman’s shoulder and under the cross bar. Sean Sullivan picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

Heading into the second trailing by two, Lake Erie would battle back, eventually cutting San Antonio’s lead in half on rookie Ryan Stoa’s first goal of the season and as a professional.

Coming in the zone with the numbers against him, captain Brian Willsie fumbled the puck and had it poke checked off his stick. Trailing the play, Stoa picked up the loose puck, and in one motion, threw a wrist shot from the top of the circle toward the San Antonio net that squeezed through the arm of Rampage goalie Al Montoya, cutting the opposition’s lead to one at the 5:12 mark of the second.

Before the second period would end, San Antonio would increase their lead by two again on Joel Perrault’s second goal of the season. After a turnover at the Monsters blue line, Hoggan pushed the puck up to Perrault, who put a low wrist shot past the right pad of Weiman on a two-on-one break with less than five minutes left in the middle frame.

Entering the third up by two, San Antonio kept the pressure on Lake Erie, making sure the Monsters wouldn’t be able to mount a comeback. In the faceoff circle to Weiman’s right, Turris pulled a clean draw back to Tikhonov, who snapped a wrister through the wickets of Lake Erie’s All-Star netminder.

“It’s early, and I know it’s frustrating to be 1-3, but we have a lot of guys who have been around this league a long time and I think we’re going to be alright,” said alternate captain Chris Durno.

The Monsters return to The Q on Friday and Saturday night for back-to-back games with last year’s Western Conference champion, the Manitoba Moose. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. both nights and tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-2000 or by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com.

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