Calls of the Week with Ben Holden

Welcome to another action packed edition of our Monsters “Calls of the Week”. What a week it’s been for our team. They climbed into first place in the North Division last Wednesday with a great win over the Texas Stars before 7,500 fans on our School Day game! Then it was off to cold and snowy Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a critical two-game North Division showdown with the first-place Monsters and the team they were tied with entering last weekend, the Manitoba Moose.

Lake Erie goaltender Jason Bacashihua didn’t have much action until late in the first period because the Monsters carried the play in the Manitoba zone. When he finally saw some shots, he was razor sharp as he backstopped his fourth straight win in net for Lake Erie. Here is the call from Ben Holden on ESPN 850 when “Cash” made a pair of great stops to keep the game 0-0.

The Monsters opened the scoring late in the first period. Captain Ben Walter made his return to the lineup after missing the previous three games with an upper body injury, and he gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead when Greg Mauldin made a pass from down low to Walter, who was camped out on top of the crease. Here’s the call of that goal.

Still in the opening frame, Lake Erie winger Justin Mercier scored his ninth goal of the season. After rookie Luke Walker used his speed to drive up the right wing of the Manitoba zone, his shot created a rebound that Mercier got by goaltender Eddie Lack. That goal proved to be the game winner. Here’s how the call of that goal sounded.

The Monsters led 2-0 after 20 minutes and clearly dominated the Moose in the opening frame. In the second period the Monsters continued to buzz around the crease and they made it a 3-1 game when Julian Talbot scored his first goal since early December. Talbot got some help from Monsters winger Matt Ford.

In the late stages of the second period, the Monsters had a four-minute power play after defenseman Matt Generous was clipped with a high stick. Fellow defenseman Joel Chouinard ripped home a power play goal to make it 4-1 in favor of Lake Erie. Here’s how the call of that great goal sounded.

With a 4-1 lead in the third period, the Monsters cashed in on the power play once again. As you will hear, this play was nearly a disaster for the Monsters but defenseman Travis Gawryletz made a great recovery that ultimately allowed Matt Ford to score from the bottom of the left circle.

That was a terrific play by all players involved and it was more than the Monsters would need as they skated to a 5-1 win and had sole possession of first place in the North Division. Here’s how Holden’s final call of the game sounded last Friday night.

On Saturday at the MTS Centre, the Monsters were going for a franchise record sixth straight win and a franchise record sixth straight road win, as well as a chance to increase their first-place lead and move four points up on the Moose in the North Division race. But the Moose came out sharp and focused on this night and the Monsters fell behind 2-0 after 20 minutes. However, Jason Bacashihua, who entered the game with a four-game win streak, made an amazing save on Manitoba’s Shawn Weller in the first period. Here’s how Ben Holden called it on ESPN 850.

In the second period, defenseman Kevin Montgomery made an incredible play to help save a Moose goal. Bacashihua made the initial stop, but the puck trickled loose and was lying alone right near the goal line when Montgomery made a great save of his own. Here’s how it sounded.

The Moose had a 4-0 lead late in the game but the Monsters were not going to be shutout on this night. Captain Ben Walter scored in his second straight game on Moose goaltender Eddie Lack. Here’s how it sounded.

Shortly after Walter ruined Eddie Lack’s bid for a shutout, the Monsters came back with another highlight reel goal. It came courtesy of rookie Luke Walker who was celebrating a birthday on Saturday. In typical Walker fashion, he dashed up the right wing, got down near the bottom of the circle and ripped a bullet top shelf. Here’s how the call sounded.

The Monsters would lose the game 4-2, but they earned a split in Winnipeg and came home tied for first place in the ziplock tight North Division playoff race. Here was Ben Holden’s final call of the game on Saturday night.

The Monsters return to the ice Thursday when they will face the Hershey Bears, a team the Monsters beat in a shootout in mid January in Hershey. Friday they are at Grand Rapids for a critical North Division battle and the two teams will play again at The Q on Saturday night. It should be another great weekend of Monsters hockey as they continue to battle for their first playoff berth in franchise history.

Until next week and an all new “Calls of the Week”, enjoy the games and enjoy the playoff race!

Go Monsters!!

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