Monsters Play Marlies in Toronto

Back on the winning track following their first victory of the season over the Rochester Americans, the Lake Erie Monsters (26-23-2-2) will see a familiar opponent this afternoon when they play the Toronto Marlies (29-18-4-2) for the eighth time this season. Catch all the action live on AM 1540 KNR2, or follow the link right here on to listen live. Entering the day, the Monsters sit in second place in the North Division with 56 points, eight points back of the division-leading Marlies’ 64 points. On the season, the Monsters are 4-3-0-0 against Toronto, and the Monsters are looking to avenge a 6-2 loss on home ice to the Marlies on January 26.

A crowd of over 13,000 helped propel the Monsters to their first victory this season over the Rochester Americans on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena; a win that caused the Monsters to leapfrog Rochester in the North Division landscape. 6-1-0-1 since the American Hockey League’s all-star break, the Monsters remain one of the league’s hottest teams, but the tasks don’t get any easier beginning with today’s action. Toronto has led the North Division for virtually the entire season, they boast the top penalty killing unit in the league (87.3%), and are loaded with offensive weapons.

Joe Colborne, a former first-round pick and second-year professional, leads the Marlies offensive attack. In seven games against the Monsters this season, Colborne has four goals and five assists. Toronto’s scoring leader Mike Zigomanis has six points in seven games against the Monsters this season, and the same goes for top-line forward Jerry D’Amigo. Toronto is 6-3-1-0 over their last 10 games, and are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday.

The Monsters have seen offense from across the board lately. Patrick Rissmiller’s six-game point streak came to a halt with Saturday’s win over Rochester, but that streak remains a season-best for a Monster. Stefan Elliott has a three-game point streak in progress; he has three goals over his last two games. He scored twice, including the game-winner on Saturday night against Rochester. Elliott, and his fellow blueliners, have proven to be difference-makers when they score this season; the Monsters are 10-2-2-0 when a defenseman scores a goal. Gerald Coleman has continued to play winning hockey in net, with his record at 8-2-1 over his 11 consecutive starts for the Monsters. His 11 straight starts is the longest such streak in Monsters history.

After today’s game, the two teams will meet twice more; March 21 in Toronto, and March 24 at Quicken Loans Arena.

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