Weiman and Smith Get Second Straight Win

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Tyler Weiman and the Lake Erie Monsters teamed up to make history on Wednesday, as Weiman and the Monsters blanked the Quad City Flames at Quicken Loans Arena, 3-0. It was Weiman’s, and the team’s, second straight shutout, and Lake Erie’s first back-to-back shutout wins in franchise history. Weiman was perfect for the duration, stopping all 32 Quad City shots, after defeating Philadelphia, also 3-0, on Sunday.

The scoring was started and continued by Lake Erie captain Nathan Smith, who registered the game’s first two goals. With the pair of tallies, Smith has now registered four points in the past two games (3G, 1A).

For the first score of the night, forward Chris Mueller pushed the puck ahead to Smith, who began picking up speed into the Flames zone on a break. Smith attempted to pass the puck in front, only to have it go off a Quad City defender’s skate and into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Mueller had the lone assist on Smith’s goal at the 2:36 mark of the first period.

“It was a great play by Mueller. He drove that defenseman wide and then he put it in the middle to me,” Smith said. “I tried to pass it to Per Ledin, who was driving the net, and it went off the defensemen’s skate and in. It’s always nice to contribute, but I’m just happy it’s a win.”

A full period later, and at almost the same exact time, Smith would strike again, this time on the power play and at the 2:34 mark of the second period. When a goal mouth scramble left a number of Flames and Monsters in front of goaltender Matt Keetley’s crease, the puck was left lying inches from crossing the goal line. Driving the net, Smith came in on his backhand and put the Monsters up, 2-0. Tom Fritsche and Ledin recorded assists on the goal.

Seven minutes later, Lake Erie defenseman Nigel Williams would pad the Monsters lead, putting the team ahead by three on his third goal of season. As Chris Durno gained the blue line, the Monsters winger pushed the puck to a hard-charging Williams. With the puck on his stick and moving forward, Williams ripped a shot from the faceoff dot, blowing it through the five hole of Keetley and chasing him from the game. T.J. Galiardi registered the second assist on the goal.

With the shutout, Weiman now has recorded five on the season, a number that ties him for first in the AHL with Daniel Larsson of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“I am seeing the puck and a goalie will say everything looks bigger; it kind of slows down for you, so you’re reading plays and that makes it look easy,” said Weiman. “It’s not only me, it’s the guys in front of me that have made it seem easy at times.”

“Weiman’s play speaks for itself,” said head coach Joe Sacco. “He seems to be seeing the puck very well right now. Tyler works hard, he’s a dedicated kid and he spends a lot of time on his game and he wants to be a good pro. You can see the results now.”

The Monsters will have Thursday off and then play three games in three days over the weekend. The action starts in Hamilton on Friday, then returns to The Q on Saturday night for a game against Manitoba, and wraps up with the Monsters traveling to Texas to play Houston on Sunday afternoon.

“I thought it was a good effort from our guys tonight,” said Sacco. “We won as a team.”

Sights and Sounds
Nathan Smith Interview
Coach Joe Sacco Interview
Quote, Unquote

"I was more happy we had a 1-0 lead after one. I thought we were fortunate; if it wasn’t for Tyler it could have been a different story. We knew they were going to come out hard. They are an aggressive team, especially on the forecheck, they come at you with two guys hard. Our defense had to be ready from the start and we got caught back a little on our heals to start the game. We got that break on the first goal and then started to relax, settle down, and get back to our game. 

Tyler's play speaks for itself. Obviously as a coach it’s nice to have him back there. If there is a breakdown he seems to be coming up with timely saves. He seems to be seeing the puck very well right now. I noticed tonight, even rebounds around the front net, he seems to be finding everything right now. He is square to the puck. He is playing with a lot of confidence right now. Tyler works hard, he’s a dedicated kid and he spends a lot of time on his game and he wants to be a good pro. You can see the results now.” - Head Coach Joe Sacco


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