Desjardins Pitches Shutout in First Game

Cedrick Desjardins earned his 13th American Hockey League shutout in his Lake Erie Monsters debut Sunday, stopping 29 shots in a 4-0 Monsters (4-6-1) win over the Toronto Marlies (5-3-1). Ryan Stoa logged his first two points of the season, both assists, and Eric Hunter scored his second goal in as many games to propel the Monsters to a two-game weekend sweep of the Marlies at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Monsters have now won two straight and four of their last five.

Lake Erie scored the game’s first goal - and eventual gamewinner - at 4:10 of the opening period off a Stoa rush up the ice. Stoa’s scoring attempt was denied by Toronto goalie Jussi Rynnas, but Evan Brophey followed the shot and tapped home the rebound for his second goal of the season. Joel Chouinard also assisted.

Less than three minutes later, the Monsters extended the lead to 2-0 on the power play when Stefan Elliott’s snap-shot from the right point beat Rynnas short side through traffic. Cameron Gaunce and Harrison Reed assisted on the goal; for Reed, playing his second game with the Monsters, the assist was his first point of the season.

The Monsters added a third goal at 13:12 of the second period. After receiving a pass from Stoa in the left circle, Luke Walker had his initial shot blocked, but he regained possession and sent a wrist shot over the shoulder of Rynnas for another Monsters power play goal to extend the lead to 3-0. Greg Mauldin, as well as Stoa, assisted on Walker’s second of the season.

Hunter added an empty-net goal at 14:38 of the third period - his second goal of the season and in as many games- assisted by Reed and Ben Wilson.

Desjardins’ shutout was the first for the Monsters this season. Playing his first game since suffering an upper body injury at the end of last season with Norfolk, Desjardins turned away all 29 shots he saw in improving to 1-0-0 on the season. Rynnas stopped 22 of 25 Monsters shots in the loss for Toronto; he is 1-3-0.

The Monsters next game is a 7:00 p.m. puck drop in Grand Rapids against the Griffins on Wednesday. The Monsters return to Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Houston Aeros.

NOTES: Lake Erie’s Patrick Bordeleau and Toronto’s Kyle Neuber dropped the gloves at 3:04 of the opening period; it was the first fight of the season for both enforcers… Luke Walker’s goal Sunday gives him five points (2G, 3A) in five games against Toronto this season; Walker has four points in his last five games overall after one point in his first six contests… Lake Erie has topped Toronto in three straight games dating back to a 5-4 overtime win in Toronto on 10/23/11… This was the fifth of 10 games the Monsters and Marlies will play against each other this season… Ryan Stoa’s five shots on goal Sunday is a season-high… Evan Brophey’s two goals this season have both come against Toronto.

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