Special Teams Makes the Difference in Loss

For the second straight game, the result of Lake Erie's play was 6-2. However unlike Tuesday in Houston, unfortunately for the Monsters, they were on the wrong end of that in San Antonio on Thursday.  The Rampage defeated the Monsters, 6-2, on New Year's Day.

Special teams was the story of the contest.  The Monsters were 0/7 on the power play, while allowing the Rampage to go 3/6.  

With the score tied at 1-1 in the first period, San Antonio would take over the game by scoring five unanswered goals over the next two periods.  

David Spina got San Antonio's power play scoring with his goal at 11:31 of the first period, assisted by Joel Perrault and David Schlemko.

Former Rampage player Chris Durno evened the game up for the Monsters, scoring shorthanded at 12:29 of the first period.  Durno returned to a Lake Erie uniform after being called up to parent club Colorado on Tuesday.

A minute later, San Antonio would regain the lead and would never look back.

Former Monster Wyatt Smith scored at 13:25, again on a power play.  Sean Sullivan and Alexander Nikulin were credited with the assists.

The score would remain 2-1 in favor of the home team until midway through the second period, when Spina scored his second goal of the night at 6:10.  He was helped by Ryan Lannon and goalie Al Montoya.

Shortly thereafter, the Rampage scored their third and final power play goal of the night. Jeff Hoggan scored at 8:40 of the middle frame, assisted by Schlemko and Smith.

It would be almost a full period before San Antonio would score again.  Nikulin put the Rampage back on the scoreboard with his goal at 6:55 of the third period.  He was assisted by Alex Bourret.

Spina finished his hat trick with a goal at the 7:25 mark of the final session, assisted by Bourret and Matt Jones.

After allowing five straight Rampage goals, Lake Erie lit the lamp one more time before the end of the game.  Codey Burki scored at 17:51, assisted by Randy Rowe and Derek Peltier.  Burki has scored three points (1G, 2A) in the last two games.  Rowe's assist was his first as a Monster in just his second game with the team, after signing with Lake Erie on Sunday.  He scored a goal in his first game with the team on Tuesday.

Lake Erie goaltender Tyler Weiman recorded 24 saves on 30 shots.  San Antonio netminder Montoya also had 24 saves on 26 shots.

The Monsters will return home on Saturday to host the Syracuse Crunch.

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