Haydar and Hensick Lead Monsters to Win

The Lake Erie Monsters gave the 8,000-plus fans in attendance at Saturday night's game a belated holiday gift in the form of a 4-2 win over divisional rival Toronto. Veterans Darren Haydar and T.J. Hensick led the way with three points apiece in the victory over the Marlies at Quicken Loans Arena. The Monsters (12-17-0-3) have now won three straight and four of their last five overall.

Haydar picked right up where he left off in Lake Erie's last game, when he had a goal and an assist in Tuesday's 6-2 win over Rochester. He scored just 1:32 into the first period on Saturday off a pass from Hensick, who also continued his roll from Tuesday's game when he had three assists. Travis Gawryletz picked up the second assist.

Haydar and Hensick would hook up again less than a minute-and-a-half later, this time on the power play. Hensick found Haydar cutting to the net, sending a cross-crease feed to Haydar for the score. Ray Macias was credited with the secondary assist.

Josh Engel would then put the visitors on the board at the 5:14 mark of the first, assisted by Ben Ondrus and Stefano Giliati.

Thirty seconds after Lake Erie rookie Ryan Stoa was called for elbowing, Toronto made Lake Erie pay for his transgression, scoring on the power play at 13:27. Andre Deveaux's game-tying goal was assisted by Troy Bodie and Brendan Mikkelson.

The Monsters would bounce back and have the last laugh in the opening period, as Brian Fahey put Lake Erie up 3-2 with his goal at 14:12. Tom Fritsche and Matthew Ford recorded the helpers on the play.

After a rapid-fire first period, it would take until more than midway through the second before the score would change. Tom Preissing scored his first as a Monster and put Lake Erie on top with his power play goal at 11:51 of the second period. Hensick and Haydar assisted.

The combination of Hensick and Haydar has proved highly successful of late. Hensick has now posted back-to-back three-point games, and has recorded points in nine of the last 10 games (3G, 13A). Saturday's game was his third three-point and fourth multi-point effort of the year. Meanwhile Haydar notched his team-leading eighth multi-point game of the season, including his second contest posting three points. He has recorded 14 points (7G, 7A) in the past 10 games.

The rest of the second and third periods would go by with neither team scoring, resulting in the 4-2 Lake Erie win. Much of that was due to the Monsters killing off six of Toronto's seven power play opportunities in the game.

Tyler Weiman picked up 29 saves on the 31 shots he faced in net for the Monsters, while his Marlies counterpart Adam Munro had 23 saves on 27 shots.

Immediately following the game, the two teams boarded their respective buses and headed for Toronto, where they will complete their home-and-home with a game on Sunday afternoon.

The Monsters will then return home for two games next week: Tuesday, December 29th against Peoria and Thursday, December 31st against Rochester, in the team's first New Year's Eve game at The Q. Tickets are available by calling 216-420-0000, visiting LakeErieMonsters.com, the Quicken Loans Arena box office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

Sights and Sounds
 
Head Coach David Quinn Interview
 
T.J. Hensick Postgame Interview

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