Monsters Look to Get Back on Track

The Lake Erie Monsters (12-13-1-1) will try to get back on the winning track against the Toronto Marlies (15-9-0-1) tonight at Quicken Loans Arena, with the puck set to drop at 7:00 PM. The Monsters are coming off a 3-2 loss on Saturday at home to Chicago; the club’s fourth straight loss. Toronto blanked Grand Rapids north of the border on Sunday by a 5-0 score, and have won back-to-back games and six of seven games. Of Toronto’s last seven games, five have been decided by a single goal.

Despite out-shooting Chicago 32-21 and scoring the game’s first goal at the 1:26 mark of the opening period- the fastest the Monsters have scored to begin a game this season- the Monsters allowed three unanswered goals to the Wolves en route to falling 3-2. David van der Gulik scored just past the midway point of the second period to bring the Monsters to within a goal, but Chicago held on to the lead in a scoreless third period that saw Wolves goalie Matt Climie stop 11 Monsters shots on net. The Monsters, on the other hand, allowed Chicago just three shots on goal in the third period of Saturday’s game. Andrew Agozzino, Mark Olver, and Mike Sgarbossa each notched an assist for the Monsters Saturday.

Olver’s goal that opened the scoring on Saturday gives the former AHL All-Star forward four goals to go along with his six assists over his last nine games. Despite the Monsters falling short on the scoreboard, Olver has continued to be a consistent producer offensively, and with 20 points sits four points behind Sgarbossa for the team’s scoring lead. Olver is also tied for the Monsters team lead with three points in two games against the Marlies this season.

Keith Aucoin is a two-time Calder Cup winner and former AHL scoring champion, and he enters tonight’s game tied for the Marlies team lead with 24 points. Aucoin has two goals and four assists over six games played in December. He’s third in the league with 19 assists on the season, and enters the game tied for second on the Marlies in power play points with 10 on two goals and eight assists. Only defenseman Mike Kostka has more power play points (11) than Aucoin among Marlies players.

Tonight’s action can be heard live beginning at 7:00 PM on ESPN 850 WKNR and Sirius/XM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 107, XM 92) with Doug Plagens on the play-by-play.

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