After a refreshingly wonderful weekend series against the freefalling Amerks, the Monsters have embarked on a long roadtrip through the midwest and on down to the great state of Texas. The journey begins Wednesday night at the Rosemont Horizon against the Chicago Wolves who occupy the 4th spot in the Western Conference. The Monsters split a pair of games against the Wolves in late December at the Q.
This past weekend Lake Erie and Sami Aittokallio shut out Rochester on consecutive nights, 5-0 & 3-0. Friday night saw the debut of 2012 3rd round pick of the Avalanche Troy Bourke, who chipped in with a goal and 2 assists. Olver, Schumacher also scored and J.T. Wyman had 2. Recap here. On Sunday, Max Iafrate made his Monsters debut on defense paired up with Brett Clark. Desbiens, Elliott and Sgarbossa scored and Duncan Siemens got his first assist and second point of the year. Recap here.
Thanks to the twin shutouts, Sami was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week. He will receive a swanky trophy commemorating the achievement at a Monsters home game in the very near future.
Luke Moffatt, the Avs 7th round pick in 2010, signed an ATO on Monday after completing his college career with the University of Michigan. Moffatt is a 6'/200# Center/Left Wing and scored 75 points in 148 games for UMich, including 13G/12A in 34 games this year.
Max Iafrate's try-out with the Monsters has come to a close, he was released last night. I think he would have stuck around longer if he wasn't draft eligible, but PT would be hard to justify with 8 other D around and Max not a sure thing to be in the organization long term. Maybe we'll hear his name again on draft day.
On the injury front, Joey Hishon returned to practice on Saturday wearing the yellow non-contact jersey, but today he was wearing a regular gray so it's likely he plays in Chicago. Yesss! Also, Gabe Beaupre and Markus Lauridsen were in regular jerseys at practice, awesome news especially about Moose, he's been out for months with a suspected concussion. Trevor Cheek pulled a hamstring on Friday night and isn't on the trip and Gabe Desjardins is off the injured list but still not ready to play yet.
HISH! from lostgirlwendy at practice today.
With a relatively healthy roster and the ATO signings, the Monsters now have 15 forwards (including Maggio) and 8 defensemen so playing time will be hard to come by for some guys. It's going to be interesting to see how the guys fighting for time play when given the chance, and also interesting to see who Chynoweth scratches every game. I'd like to see some lame duck vets take a seat, but as long as LEM are mathematically alive, that ain't happenin' unfortunately.
Monsters at Chicago Wednesday night 8:00pm ET, radio on WKNR
AHL standings - Monsters in 12th place, 7 points out with 13 games left
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Avs are off Wednesday night, check out Cowboy Troy, Luke Moffatt and the return of Hish & Moose as the Monsters and Chicago clash. I'll have updates as usual.