Monsters Win Streak Continues, NHL Notes

Good Morning Sports Fans!

The Lake Erie Monsters reached a .500 record last night by extending their win streak to three games with a 5-3 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs. It was the Monsters third victory on the road during this road trip.

During the first period, the Monsters got on the board first on with a goal by Mike Bartlett. About a minute later, the Bulldogs would counter on the powerplay when Ben Maxwell put one past Monsters netminder Tyler Weiman to make it a 1-1 hockey game.

In the second period, the Monsters would take the lead and the momentum on power play goals by Matthew Ford and Brian Willsie. Both goals would help put the Monsters up 3-1 going into the second intermission.

Late in the third period, the Bulldogs would cut the lead to one with a short handed goal by Andre Benoit. With a 3-2 lead late in the period, the Monsters would go up by two as TJ Hensick found the back of the net to make it 4-2 Monsters. The Bulldogs would make it a 4-3 game with a late goal by Ryan White, however, it wasn’t enough to get the victory. With the goaltender pulled, the Monsters would add an empty net goal courtesy Matthew Ford to earn the 5-3 victory.

Months ago, many Monsters fans never would have imagined the team would be playing this well at this point of the season. The team was difficult to watch at the beginning of the season, could barely put a play together and was consistently getting blown out by five or six goals every night. The team has improved immensely and will be fun to watch from here on out.

It’s a mystery as to what motivated the Monsters to make this transformation but the source of the motivation could stem from other Monsters players going to the NHL. Rumors circulated that certain Monsters players felt left out when not getting the call to go to Colorado at certain times this season and that frustration could be the source of the motivation. The best way to get to the NHL is to play well, develop your skills and prove to scouts you can play at the top level. While many of the players on the Monsters may not get the call from Colorado, playing well could get them noticed by other NHL teams and an opportunity elsewhere.

Moving on to the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins rebounded from a loss earlier this week with a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames last night.

The Penguins got on the board first with a goal courtesy of Sidney Crosby in the first period of play. The goal was Crosby’s 30th of the season and help get the Penguins off to a quick start.

Halfway through the second period, the Flames with tie it at one goal apiece when Mark Giordano scored on the powerplay. The Penguins would counter about a minute later when Bill Guerin scored on the power play to put the Penguins up 2-1.

Late in the third period, the Penguins would seal the deal with a goal by Tyler Kennedy and hold on for a 3-1 victory.

The Penguins have been playing inconsistent lately but showed improvement in last night’s game. They got to an early lead in the game and did not panic when Calgary tied the game in the second period. The Penguins are a team that doesn’t play inconsistently for very long and will be a threat later on down the stretch. If the Penguins can play well against their own division, they will be a contender for a division title.

That’s it for now. Keep it real.

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on January 14, 2010.

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