Monsters Drop One-Sided Game to Marlies

In their second game of the season against the Toronto Marlies Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, the Lake Erie Monsters dropped a lopsided 7-1 contest to their North Division foes. The Monsters fall to 7-10-0-1 with the loss while the Marlies improve to 7-6-1-2.

Toronto struck early, as Ryan Hamilton put the Marlies up 1-0 on his seventh goal of the season 4:17 into the game. Seeing his teammate cutting through the neutral zone, Ben Ondrus put a pinpoint pass on the stick of Hamilton, springing him on a breakaway. In on Monsters goalie Trevor Cann alone, Hamilton faked to the forehand, sliding the puck past Cann. The score was a shorthanded tally.

A little more than eight minutes later, Christian Hanson would pad Toronto’s lead on his sixth goal of the season. On the two-man advantage, Hanson, from the top of the crease, backhanded in a Tyler Bozak rebound. Jiri Tlusty picked up the second assist on the goal.

Less than two minutes after he scored, Hanson set up Viktor Stalberg to push the Toronto lead to 3-0 on the power play at the 14:39 mark of the first. Taking a pass from Bozak at the goal line, Hanson fired a pass out to Stalberg, who one-timed the feed through Cann’s legs from a only a few feet outside the Lake Erie netminder’s crease.

Heading into the middle frame down three, the Monsters would strike quickly, cutting the Toronto lead to two on Marty Sertich’s second goal of the season just four minutes in. In front of Marlies goalie James Reimer, Sertich deflected Matt Clarke’s wrist shot that came from the top of the right circle past Reimer’s glove. Phil Dupuis recorded the second assist on the Sertich tally.

Before the Monsters could close on the Toronto lead, Alex Foster put the Marlies back up by three with his second goal of the season just a minute after the Sertich score. With his back to Cann, Foster wired a turning wrist shot to the top corner past the Lake Erie goalie’s glove. Brett Festerling and Andre Deveaux picked up assists on Foster’s goal to cap the second period scoring.

The final 15 minutes of the second would go by without a goal, and the Marlies would head into the third period with a 4-1 lead.

In an attempt to try and get back in the game, Monsters head coach David Quinn pulled Cann while the Monsters were on the power play with six minutes left in the game. But the plan backfired when Hanson took a pass from Tlusty through the middle of the ice, blew around a pair of Monsters defensemen and pushed the puck into an empty net.

Up 5-1, the Marlies kept the foot on the gas. One minute later, Foster registered his second of the game, giving the Marlies a five-goal lead. After Cann denied Stalberg on a breakaway, Foster followed up and put the rebound past the left pad of an outstretched Cann.

If it wasn’t being strongly considered before, Hanson solidified his spot as the game’s number one star when he netted his third goal of the game with three minutes remaining. With the puck on the goal line, Hanson threw a backhander toward the Monsters cage that deflected off a defender and into the net. Bozak and Tlusty recorded assists on the goal.

By game’s end, Cann made 30 saves on 36 shots while Reimer turned away 21 of 22 Lake Erie shots on goal. “We have a team that can play well one night and then play like this the next,” said Quinn. “At the end of the day that’s my responsibility and I’ve got to find a way to bring out consistency.”

The Monsters finish their home-and-home series with the Marlies on Sunday, when they travel to the Ricoh Coliseum for the first of four road games this season in Ontario’s capital. Lake Erie returns home on Friday, when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. at The Q. Tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

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