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Monsters Shut Down Rivermen AgainTweet
The first 20 minutes remained scoreless thanks in large part to team defense and the superb play of All-Star netminder Tyler Weiman, who was returned to the Monsters from Lake Erie’s parent club, the Colorado Avalanche, on Friday. Weiman turned aside 14 Peoria shots in the first and teamed up with his defense to kill four penalties. By game’s end, Weiman made a season-high 39 saves on 40 shots.
David Marshall would start the scoring for the Monsters, netting his first goal of the season at 7:30 of the second period. Standing in front of Peoria goalie Hannu Toivonen, Marshall deflected Matt Ford’s wrist shot from the top of the circle between the five hole of the Rivermen goalie. Tom Fritsche picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Wanting to pad the lead, defenseman Brian Fahey put the Monsters up by two with his second goal of the season at the 18:51 mark of the middle frame. After Marshall won a clean faceoff back to the point, Fahey drifted toward the middle of the ice and blew a slapshot past Toivonen.
“Our forwards did a great job of winning the draw and boxing out their guys so I had no pressure at the point,” said Fahey. “I was able to walk it across, and with some bodies in front, I don’t think the goalie saw it at all until it was in the net. Those are the kind of goals we need to get.”
Keeping the foot on the gas pedal heading into the third, rookie forward Brock Bradford would record his second goal of the season at the 12:51 mark of the third. Taking the puck from a Cedric McNicoll faceoff win in the circle, Bradford turned the puck from his backhand to his forehand in the low slot and ripped a wrist shot past Toivonen. The goal was Bradford’s second in as many games and McNicoll’s assist gives the young French-Canadian three points (1G, 2A) in the past two games.
Battling to the end, the Rivermen would end goalie Tyler Weiman’s shutout bid with only 90 seconds left in the game, as Chris Porter knocked home a rebound in front of the net to put the Rivermen on the scoreboard. Jonas Junland and Adam Cracknell picked up helpers on the goal.
But any hope of a comeback would end with 25 seconds left in the game, when Ford took a bank pass from Ray Macias from his own end and pushed the puck into a yawning, empty net. The goal was Ford’s second in the past two games.
“We do have character. We don’t quit,” said head coach David Quinn. “There are games like the last two where we start the game slow and are able to come back and play two good periods after that. I think we’ve been down 2-0 four times this year, and we’ve come back in all four. It’s a resilient group.”
The Monsters wrap up their three-game weekend on Sunday when they play the Abbotsford Heat for the first time in franchise history at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling (216) 420-2000 or by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.
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