Monsters Face Hamilton for Pair of Games

On Thursday, December 29th, the Monsters begin a two-game set with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Lake Erie will play in Hamilton on Thursday, before returning to Quicken Loans Arena to host the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 1st. The Monsters claimed a 5-1 victory over the Bulldogs on November 10th. Broadcaster Ben Holden previews the division matchup.

Monsters vs. Bulldogs

When these two teams met at Quicken Loans Arena for a weekday matinee on November 10th, the Monsters skated to a convincing 5-1 victory. Hamilton snapped a scoreless tie off David Desharnais’ goal early in the middle frame, before the Monsters rattled off five straight goals.

Center Ben Walter scored twice and picked up an assist, while defenseman Ray Macias also provided a multi-point effort (1G, 1A) for Lake Erie. Luke Walker and Greg Mauldin also tallied for the Monsters.

Jason Bacashihua went 27-for-28 in the Lake Erie net, while Robert Mayer turned aside 20 shots in goal for the Bulldogs.

Last season, the Monsters split their eight-game set with Hamilton. The Bulldogs forced overtime in one game and a shootout in another, giving them 10 points to Lake Erie’s eight.

Dog Days of the Season

The Bulldogs have spent the majority of this season as the North Division’s top team. They boast an overall record of 19-10-1-4 and a 12-4-0-4 mark in North Division play, while they are 10-6-0-1 on home ice.

The Bulldogs have posted a 5-4-0-1 mark in their last 10 games. They enter Thursday's contest on a two-game loosing streak, as they lost to Toronto, 4-3, in a shootout December 26th and fell 5-3 to Chicago Tuesday, December 28th.

The Dogs are led by center David Desharnais, who has racked up 42 points (10G, 32A) in 34 games this season. Their defense is led by Brendan Nash, who has totaled 16 points (2G, 14A) in 33 games.

Curtis Sanford, the AHL’s second-best goaltender, has appeared in 20 games for Hamilton this season. He has posted a 12-5-1 record, 1.73 GAA, .939 save percentage and two shutouts.

In Northern Territory

On Thursday, Lake Erie will play its third contest of a five-game stretch against North Division teams.

The Monsters fell 5-3 in Grand Rapids on Sunday, December 26th, before Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Rochester.

Lake Erie is 7-4-0-2 in North-Division action.

By the Numbers

In Wednesday’s game against Rochester, center Ben Walter notched his team-leading 16th assist and 24th point.

With two assists Wednesday, center Ryan Stoa notched his fifth multi-point game of the season and third point (1G, 2A) in his last two outings.

Matt Ford tallied his 10th goal of the season Wednesday, tying him with Stoa and Mark Olver for the team lead.

Patrick Rissmiller registered a goal and an assist against the Amerks, marking his fourth point in his last two games and his fourth multi-point game of the season.

David van der Gulik’s power play tally against Rochester marked his second goal in as many games. Since being reassigned by parent club Colorado on December 14th, van der Gulik has played five games and scored twice.

Broadcaster Ben Holden previews Lake Erie’s two-game set with Hamilton:

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