First Meeting with Toronto Ends in Loss

Despite scoring first and having a lead until almost the end of the second period, the Lake Erie Monsters dropped a tight 3-2 contest to the Toronto Marlies at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night. The game was the first of eight regular season meetings between the clubs. The loss drops the Monsters to 6-7-0-0 while the Marlies improve to 6-3-1-1 on the year.

The first period went by without any scoring, as both goalies – Tyler Weiman for the Monsters and James Reimer for the Marlies – made 10 saves apiece.

Brock Bradford started the scoring for the Monsters, netting his third goal of the season at the 10:50 mark of the middle frame. After taking a pass from Wes O’Neill behind the goal line, Bradford got his own rebound and banked the puck off Reimer’s leg and into the net from behind the goal line. Rookie Justin Mercier picked up his first point as a pro with the secondary assist on the goal.

Six minutes later, the Marlies would knot the score on Christian Hanson’s fifth goal of the season. Standing a few feet outside of Weiman’s crease, Viktor Stalberg’s point shot careened off Hanson’s leg and through Weiman’s five hole. Mike Zigomanis picked up the secondary assist, giving him an assist in the past six consecutive games.

Heading into regulation’s final 20 minutes with a tie score, Stalberg gave the Marlies their first lead of the game nine minutes in with his third goal of the season. Cutting across the middle of the ice, Stalberg deflected a Ben Ondrus wrist shot past Weiman. Hanson picked up the second helper on the goal.

Playing sound defensively for most of the third, Toronto’s Ryan Hamilton all but ended the game with a minute left, tallying an empty net goal. Zigomanis and Hanson recorded assists on the goal.

The Monsters resilience would push through, and rookie Ryan Stoa would pick up his fourth goal of the season with 15 seconds left in the game. When Tom Preissing’s slap shot was kicked out to the slot by Reimer, Stoa pushed in the rebound to put the Monsters behind by one. Bradford picked up the second assist on the goal, recording his second multi-point game of the season.

Stoa’s goal would prove to be too little too late, as the last 15 seconds burned off the clock without the Monsters getting another shot on the Toronto net.

“It was just too easy of a game for Toronto,” said Monsters head coach David Quinn. “There just wasn’t any aggression on our part tonight and it was something that was disappointing.”

Both Weiman and Reimer ended the night turning away 26 of 28 shots.

The Monsters return to the ice on Sunday to play the Grand Rapids Griffins for the first time this season at 3:00 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets can be purchased by calling (216) 420-0000, by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com or by visiting any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.

Sights and Sounds
 
Brock Bradford Interview
 
Head Coach David Quinn Interview


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