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Weiman and Power Play Both Strong in WinTweet
The Lake Erie Monsters made a statement of sorts Wednesday night, winning their second consecutive game against the Western Conference’s best team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, in Hamilton, by a 5-3 final. Monsters goalie Tyler Weiman was the story of the game, as the team allowed a season-high 44 shots on goal, and Weiman turned away 41 of those en route to the win. The victory was also due in large part to the successful power play efforts of the Monsters, who scored on three of their four chances on the night.
The game was the fourth in 11 days between the two teams, all in Ontario, three of which Lake Erie won. The Monsters improve to 19-19-0-4 with Wednesday's win and jump the Grand Rapids Griffins to take fifth place in the North Division.
Mike Bartlett started the scoring for the Monsters, netting his second goal of the season at the 16:58 of the first period. Randy Rowe and Marty Sertich recorded the helpers on the goal. With the assist, Sertich has put up points in three straight games, notching four points (2G, 2A) in that span.
But the Bulldogs would strike back quickly, tying the game less than a minute later on the power play. Ben Maxwell knotted the game with his ninth of the year from Andre Benoit and Yannick Weber, sending the game into the second period with the score tied at one.
Just more than three minutes into the second, the Monsters would regain the lead on Matt Ford’s fourth of the season, scored on the man advantage. The goal was assisted by Tom Preissing and Brian Willsie. It was Willsie’s fourth assist in the past four games, as the Monsters captain has notched a helper in three of those games.
Adding to the lead would be the Monsters priority, and that priority would become a reality at the 10:54 mark of the second, when Willsie netted his 11th of the year on the power play. Defensemen Brett Skinner and Preissing would assist on the goal, and with the assist, Preissing recorded his third multi-point game of the season.
Willsie’s goal would be the final tally of the middle frame, and the Monsters would head into the third period with a 3-1 lead.
Almost the entire third period would go by before the next goal, but with just more than two minutes left in regulation, Benoit would score shorthanded, notching his third of the year from Ryan Russell. The goal closed the Lake Erie lead to a single goal, 3-2.
But the Monsters would take a two-goal lead 55 seconds after Benoit’s goal closed the gap. Center T.J. Hensick would notch his sixth of the season on the power play from Willsie and Ryan Stoa at the 18:39 mark of the third. With the goal and pair of helpers, Willsie recorded his seventh multi-point game of the year.
The first place Bulldogs kept battling back, and with 50 seconds left, Ryan White closed the gap again to one, registering his 10th of the season from Brock Trotter and David Desharnais, making it a 4-3 game.
Despite the comeback attempt, the Bulldogs would come up short, as Ford would ice the game with an empty net goal with 17 seconds left in regulation, giving the Monsters the 5-3 victory. With the goal, Ford recorded his fourth multi-point game of the season.
Lake Erie wraps up their six-game road trip with a set of games in Abbotsford Friday and Saturday nights.
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