The beloved Monsters are on a bit of a roll now with points in their last 4 games and wins in their last 2. Current standings have them in 11th place in the WC and only 2 points out of a playoff position. Confidence is a good thing because this weekend is going to be a toughie. A rematch vs Chicago, who they defeated 3-2 on Wednesday, and a trip to Western Conference leaders Rockford on Sunday afternoon.
- Coach Jock got a mention in Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts this week (at #30)
- Garrett Meurs has been kicking ass in Ft Wayne with 5 points in his last 3 games and is the ECHL's Player of the Week. Well done Meursy!
- And just like Mitch Heard before him, ECHL Player of the Week leads to a callup for young Garrett. He should be available for tonight's game.
- ICYMI, Monsters Quarter-season review article full of boring stats and random conclusions
- Joey Hishon missed Wednesday's game with UBI, word on the street is that it's a wrist issue and he could be back next week.
- Mike Sgarbossa, Tomas Vincour and Karl Stollery played for Colorado last night. Ben Street's hand issues from pre-season have flared up again and he's day-to-day.
- Boss ended up getting his first NHL point again last night and this time it stood. Congrats, Mike!
- Roman Will was reassigned to the Komets on Wednesday. Hopefully some PT can straighten him out in case the Monsters need him again.
Recap: Game 20 vs Chicago
This was a big test for the Monsters, they've been accumulating points lately against some of the lower teams in the conference but without being competitive vs the better squads their success will be short-lived.
The game started out pretty poorly, Picks let in 2 goals on the first 5 shots and the team looked listless and slow. Daniel Maggio is well known for firing up the team with his truculence, but in this game he did it by scoring a big goal that somehow changed the dynamic of the game. From then on, LEM looked sharp and Pickard got better and better. Markus Lauridsen scored another clutch goal towards the end of the 1st and after the poor start the Monsters went to intermission tied up.
Colin Smith scored on a great play by Kenny Ryan early in the 2nd and from there on it was a roller coaster of lame penalties, wild saves by Calvin and the unfortunate reappearance of the Turdle in the 3rd period with the guys only managing 4 shots in the final frame. I'm sure Coach Dean wasn't happy about the process, but the result was a very good 3-2 win for the team.
After being shut out for the final 46 minutes on Wednesday, Chicago won't be happy. Lake Erie's get the lead and sit back approach isn't going to work twice, they're going to have to be the aggressors if they want to beat the Wolves for a second time tonight.
Rockford is pretty damn good this year but the Monsters have played them fairly close. The first game was the 3rd of a 3-in-3 and Picks was in net less than 20 hours after playing the night before. The score was tied going into the 3rd but the Hogs scored 3 on a tired team to get the win. The second time these 2 teams faced off, the Monsters got out to a 4-0 lead on 4 PPG but squandered it and ended up losing 5-4 in overtime. A very disheartening loss which lead to many of the defensive changes we've seen working well lately.
Friday night vs Chicago at 7:30 in the ET, radio on 850 WKNR
Sunday afternoon at Rockford at 5:00pm in the ET, radio on WHK 1420
Wednesday night at the Griffs, then Fri & Sat against Rockford at the Q
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As usual, feel free to stop by here for all the game updates and recaps over the weekend, catch the main points on twitter @mckinley06