Our beloved Monsters return home this weekend for just the 2nd & 3rd home games of the season. Defending Calder Cup champs the Texas Stars stop by the Q to ogle the new humungotron (pictured above) and play a pair vs LEM. Texas comes in with a 4-1-1 record while Lake Erie sits at 2-4-1.
- Sami Aittokallio was reassigned to the Ft Wayne Komets earlier this week, and rumor has it Francois Tremblay will return to make room for him down there. Calvin Pickard is now the clear #1 goaltender and should see most if not all the PT from now until late November when the next 3-in-3 is scheduled. Roman Will sticks around to be the backup and hopefully get a lot of coaching from Jean-Ian Filiatrault before taking the net again.
I like this move, I think LEM will benefit from having a true starting goalie and Sami will benefit from getting lots of playing time on a really good ECHL team. He needs to be sharp if needed and this is probably the best way to make that happen. Roman Will needs a lot of coaching and technical work and there's a better chance of that happening in Cleveland.
- Dennis Everberg was recalled by the Avalanche on Wednesday, great news for him but it's a big loss for the Monsters. In 5 games, Everberg had 2 goals and an assist, 9 SOG and was very sound defensively.
- Nate Condon broke through with 2 goals in the Komets' latest win, he seems to have a knack for breakaways. Justin Cohn from the FTW Journal-Gazette has a good story on him here.
- Kinsey Janke from AHL.com wrote a nice piece on Joey Hishon last week, check it out here.
Week 3 Recap
Friday the Monsters were in Grand Rapids and exploded for a 5 goal effort and a needed win against the Griffs. Sami wasn't good but good enough to preserve the 5-4 victory. Goals from Lauridsen, Schumacher, Agozzino, Ryan and Everberg, Elliott played fantastic and had 3A and Boss & Smitty picked up 2A.
Saturday night LEM found themselves in league-leading Milwaukee's rink and although they fell in the shootout, they played well enough to show they could compete with the top teams in the AHL. Paul Carey scored the lone goal and the AHL's new OT rules, featuring 3v3 play after 4 minutes, dictated thrilling action in the extra frame. I'm a big fan so far.
Sunday afternoon, the Monsters played Rockford and kept it close through 2 periods but the 3-in-3 proved too much and they couldn't keep it going in the 3rd. Final score 5-2 RFD.
The defense was the big question coming into the weekend and some good and bad came out. Markus Lauridsen was solid on both ends and Max Noreau is more impressive with every game. Bruno Gervais has been less than outstanding so far, many of the things we detest about Nate Guenin apply to him as well - chipping the puck out of the zone right to the opponent instead of passing, dumping the puck in when a carry or pass is available, etc. Gervais was a late scratch on Sunday for what turns out to be LBI, but I'd like to think it would have happened anyway because there's 6 guys playing better right now.
Week 4 preview
Defending champs Texas visit the Monsters this weekend sitting in 6th in the WC with a 4-1-1 record and league scoring leader Travis Morin (5G/7A). Good news is that last year's stingy defense has given up over 3 goals a game so far. LEM always play Texas well so look for an exciting set.
Lines in practice this week:
Schumi - Boss - Smitty
Carey - Aggz - Ryan
Cheek - Hish - Rendulic
Meurs - Henley - Mags
Rumor has it that Cody Corbett is ready to come off the injured list at any time so we might see him in one of the games. Borna Rendulic and Joey Hishon have been struggling a bit so far on the scoresheet and on defense. Hish has been fairly good but looks a little snakebit, Rendulic has a knack for getting close but not sealing the deal. Rendulic was benched late against MKE and Hish only saw a few shifts. The Monsters really need these 2 guys producing some points soon.
Friday night vs Stars 7:30pm ET, radio on WHK
Saturday night vs Stars 6:00pm ET, radio on WHK
Preview from LEM
Tuesday at Rockford again then home next Friday vs Utica
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Follow along with the action here and on twitter @mckinley06. Enjoy!