Road Trip Ends on a High Note

Photos courtesy of Greg Hamil/Rockford IceHogs
Lake Erie ended their four-game, five-day road trip on Wednesday night the same way they started it on Saturday: with a win. The Monsters defeated the IceHogs, 4-2, in Rockford on Wednesday, led by Ryan Stoa's two goals. The Monsters bookended their pre-Thanksgiving trip with victories, beginning with a 3-1 win in Grand Rapids on Saturday, followed by losses in Chicago on Sunday (5-2) and Tuesday (6-3) and capped off with Wednesday's win.

Patrick Rissmiller got the scoring started for Lake Erie, recording his first goal as a Monster after joining the team on Saturday. The power play marker at 11:39 of the first period was assisted by Julian Talbot and Jonas Holos, who was playing in just his second game with Lake Erie after being reassigned to the team by Colorado on Monday.

Shortly thereafter, Stoa increased the Monsters lead to two with his goal at 14:07. Talbot again assisted, along with Ben Walter. It was the third multi-point game of the season for Talbot, who now leads the team in assists for the season with nine.

The first period ended with the Monsters up, 2-0.

Stoa repeated his earlier feat to start the second period, scoring his second goal of the night just 2:37 into the frame. Curtis Fraser and Patrick Bordeleau were given the assists, giving the Monsters a 3-0 advantage. It was the first multi-point and multi-goal game of the year for Stoa, who has recorded four goals in the last four games.

Rockford responded at 3:56 with a Jeff Taffe goal, assisted by Jeremy Morin, cutting the Lake Erie lead to 3-1.

The Monsters would cushion their lead again before the end of the second period when Mike Carman scored shorthanded at 19:13. Carman has scored in back-to-back games and leads the team with three shorthanded goals on the season. Ray Macias assisted to put the Monsters ahead 4-1, and has now recorded points (4A) in three straight games.

The score would remain 4-1 through most of the third period before Ben Smith's shorthanded goal at 15:53 brought the IceHogs to within two. Although Rockford outshot Lake Erie 12-8 in the third, the Monsters defense held on for the 4-2 win.

Jason Bacashihua was in net for the Lake Erie victory, recording 28 saves on 30 shots. Across the ice, Hannu Toivonen had 26 saves on 30 shots for Rockford.

The Monsters will return home on Friday and Saturday to host the Oklahoma City Barons and finish an eight-game, 11-day span.

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