Monsters Dominate in Rockford on Friday

Photos courtesy of Greg Hamil
The Monsters looked anything but tired on Friday. 

Lake Erie should have been exhausted, as they are now on the tail end of the worst road trip in franchise history, playing their eighth of nine straight away from home in Rockford Friday night.  They outshot the IceHogs, 28-20, on the way to picking up a 3-1 victory.

The Monsters were 2-5 on the 15-day road trip heading into the game in Rockford, and will finish the swing in Grand Rapids on Saturday. 

Friday's game was the first meeting between the teams this season.  They will face off for the second and final time on April 1st in Cleveland.

Despite getting off only four shots in the first period, the IceHogs lit the lamp first.  Evan Brophey scored at 15:58, assisted by Jack Skille and Niklas Hjalmarsson.  Rockford took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

A new face would get the scoring started for the Monsters.  Mike Bartlett, who just signed with the team earlier in the day, made a good first impression by putting Lake Erie on the board.  His goal at the 4:38 mark of the second period, assisted by Mark McCutcheon and fellow newcomer Mike McLean, evened the score. McLean has notched two assists in three games since joining Lake Erie.

It would take a full period before the score would change.  At 5:52 of the third, Per Ledin put the Monsters up for good.  Wes O'Neill and Bartlett picked up the assists.

T.J. Galiardi added an insurance goal just a mere eight seconds later.  He scored at the 6:00 minute mark of the last frame, assisted by McCutcheon, and gave the Monsters the eventual 3-1 win.  It was McCutcheon's second multi-point game of the season.

Monsters netminder Jason Bacashihua finished the night with 19 saves on 20 shots.  HIs Rockford counterpart Corey Crawford had 25 saves on 28 Lake Erie shots.  It was Bacashihua's second straight win, the first back-to-back wins of the season for the goalie.

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