Bacashihua and Weiman Combine for Win

Photos courtesy of Darren Abate
It all came together for Lake Erie on Wednesday.  The team performed at both ends of the ice, combining hot shooting with stellar goaltending to defeat the Rampage in San Antonio, 5-1

Monsters goaltenders Jason Bacashihua and Tyler Weiman turned in one of their strongest performances of the year, teaming up for a whopping 51 saves in the win.  Lake Erie had a shutout going until San Antonio scored their lone goal with less than four minutes left in the game.  The four-goal margin of victory ties a season high for the Monsters, despite being dramatically outshot in the game, 52-20.

Aside from the play of the netminders, Lake Erie also saw solid offensive contributions from several players.  In just his third game back with the team since suffering an injury on October 25th, Matt Hendricks had a goal and two assists.  Returning to the lineup for the first time since January 3rd, after being called up by parent club Colorado, Phil Dupuis notched a goal and assist in the win.  Chris Mueller also had a goal and assist, his first multi-point game of the year.

Bryan Marshall got the scoring started early for the visiting Monsters.  His goal at 6:38 of the first period was assisted by Mark McCutcheon and Wes O'Neill.

Thirteen minutes later, the Monsters struck again, just before the end of the period.  Dupuis scored at the 19:01 mark of the first, helped by Hendricks, and sending Lake Erie into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

The score stood pat through the whole second period, as neither team was able to find the back of the net.  San Antonio had more than ample chances, as they outshot Lake Erie, 21-6, in the frame.  The top-notch play of the Monsters goaltenders kept the Rampage off the scoreboard.  Bacashihua was replaced by Weiman in the 12th minute of the period.

The third period was all Monsters.  Hendricks scored just 36 seconds into the last session, assisted by Dupuis and T.J. Galiardi.

It would take a little while, but eventually Tom Fritsche would increase the Monsters lead, scoring at the 14:03 point.  Muller and Dave Schulz were credited with the assists.

Former Monsters player Wyatt Smith finally got the Rampage on the board at 16:12 of the third.  He was assisted on the power play by Alexander Nikulin and Sean Sullivan.

Mueller cushioned the Lake Erie win with an empty net goal at 18:30, icing the 5-1 victory. Hendricks helped on the final goal.

Bacashihua was a  perfect 30-30 in goal, while Weiman recorded 21 saves on 22 shots. San Antonio goalie Al Montoya posted 15 saves on 19 shots.

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