Three North Division games in three nights coming up for our beloved Monsters [6-6-0] this weekend, a Thursday night contest versus 2nd place Toronto [6-5-1] followed by a home/home with 3rd place Hamilton [5-6-3] Friday and Saturday.
Last time we saw the Marlies was in the 3rd game (in 3 nights) of the season which ended in a 5-1 loss for Lake Erie, although 2 of the goals were empty net. Picks was solid, but the team in front of him took too many penalties and too few shots.
The Monsters and Bulldogs squared off on October 18th, Joey Hishon's first game of the year which he promptly won in the shootout.
Belated recap of LEM/Rochester from Monday afternoon: Patrick Kaleta scored for the division leading Amerks, Stef Elliott scored for the Monsters, but the game turned into a goalie battle between Calvin Pickard and Matt Hackett. Barrie, Lerg and Smith scored in the skills comp, Pickard was a wall and Lake Erie came away with a 2-1 win. Check out the highlights, all 3 shootout goals were beauties.
Sami Aittokallio's damaged hand, if that's what it really was, seems to be sorted out. Kieran Millan was shipped back to the Denver Cutthroats on Tuesday. Dan Maggio (UBI), Joey Hishon (neck) and Mike Sgarbossa (ankle) remain question marks for the weekend.
Pictured above, the Frozen Frontier sweaters that Rochester and Lake Erie will sport at the outdoor game on December 13. Righteous.
10 questions with Vandy and Siemens this week from the Monsters site.
Doug Plagens caught up with Colin Smith after practice yesterday and got his thoughts on the GWG in the shootout Monday and preparing for the tough weekend ahead.
The Monsters get no love in this week's AHL Power Rankings, managing only 25th in spite of having a .500 record and 2 wins against the #1 ranked team.
I have to say, I wasn't a fan of Mikael Tam, especially after the way he played in Avs training camp. I figured him for nothing more than a gritty agitator that would be more trouble than he's worth. Coach Roy knew better about his 2-year captain in Quebec, and darned if I'm not turning to his point of view. After a bit of a rocky start, some dumb penalties, too many goals against when he was on the ice, no offensive production, Tam has turned into a solid defenseman that plays tough minutes, makes opponents uncomfortable and has even chipped in with a few points lately. His initial pairing with Duncan Siemens didn't work, for either player, but recently matched with Karl Stollery or Gabe Beaupre he's really started to play well in all three zones. Doug Plagens caught up with Tam after practice on Tuesday, and talked about the win in Rochester and this weekend's 3 in 3.
Thursday vs Toronto 7:00pm, radio on WHKW
Friday at Hamilton 7:30pm, radio on WHKW
Saturday vs Hamilton 7:00pm, radio on WKNR
Preview from lakeeriemonsters.com
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A triple dose of pre-game 80's pain just for you, dear reader.
The Cramps "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns"
The Blasters "Dark Night"
The Replacements "Shootin' Dirty Pool"
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As usual, I'll be updating all the games here and on twitter. Recaps and linkys the morning after. Enjoy!