Monsters Drop Wild One in Syracuse

In their eighth and final meeting against the Syracuse Crunch this season, the Lake Erie Monsters lost an offensively-charged 8-5 game Saturday night at Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse, New York. The Monsters wrap up the season series with a 5-3 record against the Crunch.

The game got off to a wild start, as the teams combined for six goals in the first 20 minutes of the contest. Syracuse started the scoring, registering three goals in the first 7:19 of the game on scores from Mike York, Mike Blunden and Jon Landry. The tallies by York and Blunden were power play scores.

But the Monsters would fight back, scoring three goals in a six-minute span in the bottom half of the first. At 11:08 of the first, defenseman Ray Macias notched his third goal of the season on the power play. Nigel Williams and Phil Dupuis assisted on the goal.

Just more than four minutes later, David Marshall notched his second goal of the season. Marshall has now recorded four points (2G, 2A) in his first three professional games. Marshall was signed by the Monsters to an amateur tryout contract on March 25th. Macias and Williams assisted on the goal, Lake Erie’s second power play tally of the night.

Then, at the 17:15 mark of the first, Chris Mueller evened the score at three with his fifth goal of the year. Josh Aspenlind and Ryan Del Monte picked up assists on the goal. The assist was Del Monte’s second in as many games.

The seesaw battle for scoreboard supremacy continued, but the Crunch would have an answer to Lake Erie’s three straight goals, as the Crunch racked up four tallies in the second period to take a 7-3 lead. In the second frame, Blunden would start the scoring with his 10th of the season, with goals from Tom Sestito, Alexandre Picard and Nikita Filatov to follow.

Down by four with 20 minutes left in regulation, the Monsters would fight back, answering Syracuse’s second period offensive outburst with the first two goals. Recording his ninth goal of the season, center Codey Burki would cut the Crunch lead to three at the 7:11 mark of regulation’s final frame. With the goal, Burki has recorded points in three consecutive games (2G, 1A). Captain Chris Durno would add the lone assist on the goal.

Less than seven minutes later, Durno would tie teammate Dupuis for the team lead with his 16th goal of the season to cut the Crunch lead to two at the 14:08 mark of the third. Randy Rowe recorded the only assist on the goal.

Before the Monsters could shave the Syracuse lead any closer, Stefan Legein would put the Crunch up, 8-5, with less than four minutes left in regulation. Trevor Frischmon picked up the assist on what would be the insurance marker for the Crunch. Legein’s goal, at 16:07 of the third, would be the last score of the game, and give the Crunch a three-goal victory.

Lake Erie is now 8-6-2 against the Crunch in franchise history. The Monsters open the month of April with a game on Wednesday, April 1st at Quicken Loans Arena against the Rockford IceHogs at 7:00 p.m.

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