From the Monsters Desk: Mid-week Madness in Utica

Frontier Field outdoor rink, awaiting the Monsters/Amerks on Dec 13 - Rochester Americans

A special edition of the Monsters Desk today, focusing just on our Monsters [9-7-1] heading to the lovely Central New York burgh of Utica to play the Comets [4-10-2]. Last time these teams clashed, the Comets earned their first victory of the year, and in franchise history for that matter. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.

Last weekend saw our Boys in Burgundy get trounced by the Oklahoma City Barons 6-1, then come back the next night in a gritty 5-3 win. Joey Hishon [1G/2A], Garrett Meurs [1G/1A] and Andrew Agozzino [2G] all had stellar nights on Saturday.

Duncan Siemens is still out with a knee injury, he has been spotted wearing a knee brace and possibly using crutches. Beyond that, I haven't heard anything official or otherwise about the extent of the injury or any possible timetable for his return.

AHL.com had an article about Bryan Lerg last week, with many folks saying nice things about him and his role as captain of our beloved Monsters.

As pictured above, Frontier Field in Rochester is undergoing preparations for more than a week of outdoor hockey, featuring Lake Erie vs the Amerks, a couple of RIT men's and women's games and a whole bunch of high school and junior contests. Check out a video showing how they will pull it off.

In the beginning of the year, Lake Erie iced a 4th line consisting of 3 rookies, Mitch Heard, Colin Smith and Garrett Meurs. They were young and raw and didn't see a ton of time, but they were somewhat impressive. At the time, I remarked that we might have been seeing the Avalanche's future 3rd line if they stayed together. Fast forward a few weeks, and they haven't stayed together.

Smitty earned praise from Coach C about his work ethic in practice and in games and is now the Center/Right Wing on the first line. Meurs has used his speed and grit to get a spot on the 2nd line, playing next to another rookie (technically) having a pretty good year in Joey Hishon. This set up Heard playing consistently as the 4th line center while also seeing some time playing wing with the skill guys.

Meurs and Smith were drafted in the 5th and 7th rounds respectively and are looking like huge steals right now. Hail Pracey! Mitchell Heard on the other hand has worn the tag of 2nd rounder/1st Avs pick in 2012/never gonna be as good as Filip Forsberg. Pracey sucks! I think all three of them have a shot at the NHL playing very different roles. Smith is a smaller PA Parenteau that plays defense, Meurs is a calmer, faster Downie, Heard is the 3rd line version of Cody McLeod. Wherever these guys were drafted, that's a pretty good haul if they pan out, and damned if they aren't fun to watch.

Schedule:

Monsters at the Utica Comets Tuesday 7pm, radio on WHK 1420

Links:

Team Stats

AHL Standings - Monsters 2nd in the North

Preview from the LEM site

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Pre-game tunes is comin' straight out of 1985 this week with "Voices Carry" by 'til tuesday and a cover version by fellow Bostonians Gang Green. What's with the hair?

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I'll be here for the Comets' game, updating and tweeting and we have another Monsters Desk coming up for the weekend games at Rochester and Hamilton.

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