Will it Be Three Straight Tonight?

Back-to-back wins were the Monsters remedy for a four-game losing streak that began the new calendar year, and the two wins came against a couple of the strongest teams on the Monsters schedule this season. First, it was the red-hot Chicago Wolves, who were previously riding a five-game winning streak. In their last game on Sunday, the Monsters were able to leave Milwaukee with a 3-2 overtime win over tonight’s opponent: the Admirals.

The Monsters are 4-4-0-1 against the Midwest Division, and tonight’s game is their sixth straight against the Midwest, as well as their third against the Admirals. After scoring two of their three goals Sunday against Milwaukee on the power play, the Monsters will need to continue to capitalize on the man-advantage opportunities they are afforded. Milwaukee enters the game with a penalty kill unit ranked 29th in the 30-team American Hockey League, so the two-minute increments when the Monsters are on the power play become magnified even more; statistics indicate those will be the times the Admirals defense is most vulnerable. The pair of power play goals mustered by the Monsters on Sunday snapped a string of three consecutive games without a tally on the man-advantage.

Luke Walker and Hugh Jessiman each registered a goal in the Monsters two wins over the weekend. Walker has goals in back-to-back games, including the eventual game-winner Saturday in Chicago, following 15 straight games without a goal. Walker hadn’t scored previously since November 26th in a 5-4 road win over the Hershey Bears, but has elevated his offensive game as of late. Jessiman, the Monsters goal scoring leader with 19 this season, has goals in back-to-back games after being held off the scoresheet in three straight games.

Milwaukee remains one of the strongest and deepest teams in the Western Conference, but they’re currently riding a rough patch in their schedule. With just one win and three points over their last six games- and only two wins in their last nine contests- the Admirals are showing that everyone has to endure some sort of adversity over the course of a long season. However, goals will remain tough to come by against goaltender Jeremy Smith, should his number be called against the Monsters. Smith, who has received a call-up to the NHL affiliate in Nashville this season, is among the AHL leaders in several significant goaltending categories.

Milwaukee’s Vic Bartley, an undrafted defenseman out of the Western Hockey League, has a goal and four points to lead the Admirals in two games against the Monsters this season; furthermore, he’s a prospect to keep an eye on and remember. He’s in just his third full professional season, worked his way up from the ECHL to the AHL, spent a season in Sweden, and is now making a statement back in the AHL with four goals and 20 points to lead Admirals defensemen in scoring. He’s about a month shy of his 23rd birthday, and just might be the best AHL defenseman- and maybe best prospect- that you’ve never heard of; and that won’t be the case for long.

The Monsters are embarking on their third of five three-games-in-three-nights sets this season. Following tonight’s game, they’ll play in Grand Rapids tomorrow (7:00 PM, ESPN 850 WKNR), and back at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night at 7:30.


Search Archive »


  Bookmark and Share

Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
0

Browse by Month »

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
March 2007
January 2007
December 2006
May 2006