The beloved Monsters are red hot, 5 straight wins and 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. It won't get any easier this weekend against Midwest Division leading Rockford, who succumbed to Lake Erie last Sunday in overtime but still have an 11 point edge in the standings.
26 days ago, LEM were 4-7-2 and at the bottom of the Western Conference, they now sit in 8th and have gained serious ground on suddenly struggling teams like Chicago and Milwaukee. A good push in the 5 games left before Christmas could put them solidly with the top teams in the AHL.
- Doug Plagens wrote a good article on Colin Smith for AHL.com
- An article on Joey Hishon from The Hockey Writers
- Calvin Pickard has been fantastic for the Avs as well as the Monsters this seaon. He crafted a huge win for the big club last night and earned 1st Star of the Game.
- Paul Carey was ill and didn't dress for the Jets Game but Borna Rendulic and Karl Stollery contributed to the win. Monsters regulars have suited up for 24 total games played for the Avs this year and have a combined 3 assists.
Recap: Game 23 at Grand Rapids
Cody Corbett scored his first professional goal on a slick pass from Joey Hishon to open the scoring for Lake Erie in a well-controlled 1st period. The Griffs scored twice in an otherwise even 2nd then Mitch Heard tied the game up on a vicious drive to the net in the 3rd. Max Noreau was the overtime hero with a nice goal on a great pass from Kenny Ryan and the winning streak edged out to 5 games.
Didn't show up on the scoresheet, but Duncan Siemens had another very solid game. Noted sniper Teemu Pulkkinen had a breakaway in the first and Duncan simply glided up to him and calmly neutralized the threat. Later in the game Anthony Mantha drove to the net hard but Siemens methodically kept inside position and finished the play off by tossing him aside like garbage. His strength, speed, stick play and especially confidence is becoming more and more evident with each game lately.
Preview: Monsters vs IceHogs
The Monsters are 1-2 against the Hogs but have the latest victory to their credit. Rockford has 8 players scoring at over a half-point a game pace and possess the puck better than just about anyone in the AHL. For the first time this season, the Monsters face them at the Q and have the advantage of final change. This will be Sami's 7th game this season and 1st against someone other than Grand Rapids or Hamilton.
Lines/Pairs from Wednesday's game:
Friday night vs Rockford 7:30pm in the ET, radio on 850 WKNR
Saturday night vs Rockford 7:00pm in the ET, Teddy Bear Toss! Radio on 1420 WHK
Tuesday & Thursday vs Milwaukee, then Saturday vs Grand Rapids before Christmas Break.
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The Avs are off tonight so think about spending a little time with the prospects. I'll have updates and whatnot both here and on twitter. Enjoy!