Cann Delivers Win in First Game Back

Heading to Syracuse for the first time of the season on Friday, the Lake Erie Monsters were without starting goalie Tyler Weiman, who was sidelined with a lower body injury. Insert rookie netminder Trevor Cann, who would play his first game in a Lake Erie jersey since being reassigned to Tulsa of the CHL in mid-December. The rust barely showed, as the first-year goalie stopped 33 shots en route to leading the Monsters to a 6-4 win over the Crunch. Lake Erie's offense was spearheaded by T.J. Hensinck, Phil Dupuis, Brian Willsie and Matt Ford, who all put forth multi-point performances. Friday's win brings Lake Erie's record to 27-25-0-4 and within two points of fourth-place Abbotsford for the last playoff spot in the North Division.

It only took 41 seconds for the scoring to commence, as Monsters captain Willsie found the back of the Syracuse net to put the Monsters ahead 1-0. Darren Haydar and Dupuis assisted on the play.

Lake Erie would maintain its one-goal lead for close to 12 minutes, before doubling the advantage on Tom Preissing's goal at the 12:32 mark on the power play. Hensick and Skinner were credited with the assists.

The remaining time in the first period passed with neither team scoring, resulting in the 2-0 Monsters lead at the first intermission. Lake Erie doubled up Syracuse on shots in the frame, 14-7.

Just as quickly as Lake Erie got on the board in the first, Syracuse did it even faster in the second period. Darek MacKenzie scored shorthanded only 10 seconds into the middle frame, unassisted.

The Crunch evened the score a minute later behind Michael Blundon's goal at 1:20. Alexandre Picard and David Liffiton assisted.

Lake Erie would immediately respond, potting their own goal 29 seconds later, and re-taking the lead, 3-2. Mike Bartlett lit the lamp, helped by Dupuis and Travis Gawryletz. It would be the first of four goals for the visitors in the period, despite only putting up six shots on goal.

Dupuis found the back of the net for himself a few minutes later, scoring at 4:04. Kevin Montgomery and Ford were given the assists on the goal that put the Monsters up 4-2.

Syracuse would again strike while the iron was hot, cutting the Monsters lead to one again a minute later. Charlie Kronschnabel scored at 5:26 of the second period, assisted by Brendan Bell and Maksim Mayorov.

As the back-and-forth game continued, so did Lake Erie's scoring. Ford notched an unassisted shorthanded goal at the 9:13 mark, pushing the Monsters advantage back to 5-3.

The Monsters scored their fourth and final goal of the second period at 18:14 when Hensick recorded a shorthanded tally at 18:14, helped by Willsie.

Lake Erie took a 6-3 lead into the third period, when Bell brought the Crunch to within two just minutes into the frame. His power play marker at 1:28 was assisted by Grant Clitsome and Jared Aulin.

Despite getting outshot 15-5 in the third period, Cann and the Monsters held on for the 6-4 victory. Cann finished the night with 33 saves on 37 shots. Across the ice, Syracuse goalie Dan LaCosta was 12-for-16 before being replaced by Kevin Lelande, who ended the game making seven saves on nine shots.

The Monsters travel to Hershey to face the league-leading Bears on Saturday night. The team will then return home to host the Bears on Wednesday, February 24th.

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