Abbotsford's Offense Too Hot for Monsters

After one period of hockey in Abbotsford on Saturday night, it looked as though the Lake Erie Monsters were well on their way to their fifth straight win. The Monsters built a 3-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play before giving up six unanswered goals en route to falling to the host Heat, 6-3. Abbotsford's offense exploded in the second and third periods, outshooting the Monsters 36-11 over the final 40 minutes. With the loss, Lake Erie ended a six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. The Monsters are now 20-20-0-4 and in fifth place in the North Division.

T.J. Hensick began the night's scoring with a goal at 8:43 into the first period, assisted by Ryan Stoa and Mike Bartlett. Hensick has recorded points in six straight games (4G, 5A) and has posted a point in 19 of the last 22 games. With the assist, Stoa has notched a point in four straight games (3G, 4A).

Bartlett found the back of the net for himself less than four minutes later. The goal at 12:17 of the first was assisted by Phil Dupuis and Josh Aspenlind. With a goal and assist on the night, Bartlett recorded his second multi-point game of the season.

The Monsters would cushion their lead to 3-0 only 24 seconds later when Matt Ford scored, assisted by Brian Fahey. The first period ended with the Monsters up by three.

After the first intermission, the rest of the game would be all Abbotsford. The Heat outshot the Monsters, 17-9, in the second session, scoring twice.

John Negrin put the Heat on the board with his goal at the 12:12 mark of the second, helped by Mikael Backlund and David Van der Gulik.

Five minutes later, Abbotsford cut the Lake Erie lead to just one with J.D. Watt's goal at 17:49. Riley Armstrong and Keith Seabrook were credited with the assists.

Abbotsford continued their offensive onslaught in the third period, outshooting the Monsters 19-2 in the final frame.

The Heat would score four straight goals in the third to come from behind and defeat the Monsters. Abbotsford received goals from Jason Jaffray (A: Keith Aulie and Staffan Kronwell, 6:58); Backlund (A: Aulie and Kronwell, 9:02); Cam Cunning (A: Gord Baldwin and Garth Murray, 10:12) and Seabrook (A: Cunning and Jaffray, 10:41).

Abbotsford's 50 shots were an opponent high for Lake Erie this season and rookie goalie Billy Sauer posted a season-high 44 saves in the loss. Matt Keetley (six saves on nine shots) and Leland Irving (14 saves on 14 shots) split time in net for Abbotsford.

The Monsters will return to action after the AHL All-Star break on Friday, January 22nd when they host the Texas Stars at Quicken Loans Arena.


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