Tough week coming up for our beloved Monsters, 3 games against the playoff-bound teams in the North Division starting off Wednesday night against the despised Toronto Marlies. A week and a half ago the Monsters and Marlies met for two games that combined for 343 PIMs and a hard fought win apiece.
Obviously we need to recreate the win at home out of the two. Lake Erie outshot Toronto 47-40, scored 2 power play goals and used a relentless forecheck and solid neutral zone play to control the game.
Injury/Roster news: Troy Bourke signed an ATO contract with the Monsters Tuesday after completing his Junior career with the PG Cougars. Wednesday, LEM signed Free Agent Max Iafrate from Kitchener to an ATO. Duncan Siemens was missing from Sunday afternoon's game at Charlotte for reasons unknown, he was at practice Tuesday in a regular jersey so NBD we hope. Gabe Desjardins, Markus Lauridsen and Sami Aittokallio have been skating with the team but haven't been activated yet, Sami will start or at least be active for Friday's game. Kent Patterson was sent back to the Cutthroats Tuesday. No word on Joey Hishon's newest case of UBI, but he hasn't been seen at practice this week.
Trent Daavettila stepped into the LEM lineup Saturday and Sunday and immediately had an impact. Coach C put him out centering Aggz and Vandy and he had an assist in the first game then a goal and assist on Sunday. Trent has bounced around a few AHL teams over the last 5 years but has been over a point per game player in the ECHL with 313 games for Kalamazoo and the Colorado Eagles. Dude's a sniper!
Troy Bourke was drafted in the 3rd round by the Avs in 2012 and played his Junior hockey for Prince George of the WHL. He put up 29G/56A this year on a pretty bad team and has worn the alternate captain's letter for the last 2 seasons. Bourke was spotted on the ice at practice Tuesday by lostgirlwendy so he could be in the lineup against Toronto.
Max Iafrate is a 6'2 218 lb defenseman who played the last 3 seasons for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. This year he put up 8G/22A with 124 PIMs in 57 games, doubling his career OHL point total. He's young, turning 20 at the end of the month and is the son of former NHLer Al Iafrate. I've seen him described as a stay at home defenseman with improving offensive skills, and we could sure use some of that. He's the second FA defenseman from Major Junior the Avs organization has taken a look at so far joining Cody Corbett.
Monsters vs Marlies Wednesday 7:00pm ET, radio on WKNR
AHL standings - Monsters 4th in the North, 14th in the West
Monsters play twice against Rochester this weekend Fri/Sun
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This game begins a couple hours before the Avs take on Winnipeg, stop by and support your Lake Erie Monsters for a bit before Yogi's debut.