Monsters Defeat Defending Champs Again

The Lake Erie Monsters began a three-in-three set by claiming at 4-1 victory over Hershey at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night, finishing a two-game sweep in their regular season series with the Bears, who are the defending Calder Cup Champions of the last two years.

With the win, the Monsters established a season-high five-game home winning streak, which ties a franchise mark (Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2009). With wins in six of its last seven games, Lake Erie improves to 19-8-2-3 on home ice and 30-23-3-5 overall, as well as regain a share of first-place rights in the North Division.

In the first period the Monsters built an early 3-0 lead by netting a trio of goals in a span of 40 seconds. At 6:23, Joel Chouinard took a pass from Ben Walter and rifled a slap shot through net-front traffic from the right point. David van der Gulik also assisted.

Just 18 seconds later, Matt Ford crashed the net to bury the rebound of a Mike Carman shot. Ford’s goal came as his sixth point (4G, 2A) in his last five games.

Then, at 7:03, van der Gulik set up a goal by Greg Mauldin to make the score 3-0. Mauldin’s tally came as his third point (1G, 2A) in as many outings. Walter also assisted.

Lake Erie’s third goal chased Hershey netminder Todd Ford from the Bears’ cage, making way for Jared DeMichiel.

Hershey eventually got on the board with a goal by Boyd Kane at 11:19 of the period. Sheldon Souray and former Monster Brian Willsie assisted.

At the end of the first period, the Monsters lead by a 3-1 score and a 13-8 shot count.

In the middle frame, the Monsters went up 4-1 at the 13:32 mark. In an odd-man rush, Walter entered the Hershey zone on the left wing side and flipped a pass to Luke Walker for a tap in on the right door step. Walker’s goal came as his third point (2G, 1A) in as many games, while Walter’s assist marked his ninth point (2G, 7A) in his last five games and his third multi-point game in his last four outings. Van der Gulik also recorded an assist for his 11th point (5G, 6A) in his last 10 games and his first three-point outing of the season.

The Monsters carried their 4-1 lead into the second intermission, despite being outshot 9-6 in the middle period.

The 4-1 score remained the final, as neither team scored in a third period that saw seven Lake Erie shots compared to just four by Hershey.

Jason Bacashihua, who played for Hershey last season, stopped 20 of 21 shots faced, posting his fifth win in his last six games.

At the other end, Ford made four saves on seven shots, before DeMichiel went 18-for-19 in relief.

The Monsters will return to North Division action on Friday when they travel to Grand Rapids for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff, followed by another meeting with the Griffins at The Q on Saturday night.

Three Stars: 1. LE Walter (3 assists); 2. LE van der Gulik (3 assists); 3. LE Ford (GW goal)

David Quinn Postgame Interview
Jason Bacashihua Postgame Interview


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