CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Monsters ended an 8-game winless streak Thursday with their biggest offensive showcase of the season.
They pounded the Milwaukee Admirals with seven goals, most in a game this season, as they easily skated to a 7-1 win.
The victory puts them at 25-20-2-6 on the year, and was highlighted by a huge night by Monsters left wing David van der Gulik.
All he did was put in two goals to go along with two assists, and all night long seemed to be around the puck.
Calvin Pickard played well in the goal, and got the win to improve to 14-11-4-3. Pickard saved 22 of 23 shots on the night.
Pickard was the number one star, Bill Thomas with a goal and three assists was the number two star, with Van der Gulik taking home the number three star.
“It feels great, the team got two big points, it helps us in the playoff race, a real big night for us,” Thomas said after the win.
It was the first of an 8-game homestand for the Monsters, who will host Texas for two games this weekend and play Milwaukee again at home Tuesday.
“The last 8-9 games we haven’t been able to get two points out of any game, the next three are going to be huge, to get this one is big, gives us two big points,” Thomas said. “We have to have this same mentality every night.”
The Monsters peppered Admirals goalies Jeremy Smith and Magnus Hellberg all night, they outshot the Admirals 39-23.
The Monsters took a 1-0 lead with 4:26 to play in the first, when right winger Thomas went top shelf on Admirals goalie Smith and beat him glove side.
The assists on the goal went to Van der Gulik and Daniel Maggio at the 15:24 mark of the period.
It didn’t take long for the Monsters to make it 2-0, as just 2:24 later another goal was scored when center Harrison Reed slapped one past Smith.
The goal was the first of the season for Reed, who was playing in just his 7th game of the season. Van der Gulik and Tyler McNeely got the assists on the goal.
The Monsters outshot the Admirals 12-7 after the first 20 minutes of play.
Early in the second period, the Monsters extended their lead to 3-0 off a rebound in front of the net.
Van der Guilk got the tip in with Thomas getting the assist at 1:48 of the second period. The goal for Van der Gulik was his 13th of the year.
Milwaukee finally got on the board with a goal at the 6:51 mark of the period, with Juuso Puustinen pushing his 8th goal of the year past Pickard to make it 3-1.
Lake Erie got the goal back quickly, as less than a minute later, they scored to push the lead out to 4-1. Right winger Luke Walker got his 6th of the year at the 7:34 mark.
The goal with assists going to Paul Carey and Karl Stollery gave the Monsters a 4-1 lead.
The Monsters maintained an edge in shots on goal, leading after two periods 26-16 with 40 minutes in the book.
The third period started fast for the Monsters, as just :59 seconds in they scored again to make it a 5-1 game.
The power play goal was scored by Van Der Gulik, his second of the game and 14th of the year. Thomas and Andrew Agozzino earned the assists on the goal.
The scoring barrage continued for the Monsters and it was again on the power play, as Thomas Pock scored at the 13 minute mark to make it 6-1.
The assists went to Thomas and Van der Gulik to give Lake Erie the five-goal lead.
The final Monsters goal came with 4:03 to play, as Brad Malone put one in the net to close out the game at 7-1 Monsters.
The Monsters are back in action on Friday night at home, as they will play the first of two over the weekend vs the Texas Stars.