CLEVELAND – In front of 9,533 fans at The Q, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Texas Stars on Friday by a 3-2 final score. With the win, the Monsters improved to 22-15-4-3 overall this season and with a .580 points percentage, remain alone in fifth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.
In the wake of a scoreless opening frame, the Monsters broke the ice late in the second period when Manny Malhotra tipped home his second goal of the season on the power-play at 16:57 with John Ramage and T.J. Tynan notching assists on the play. After Texas tied the game with a Stephen Johns even-strength tally at 18:29, Lake Erie re-claimed their advantage in the period’s final minute when a net-front charge from Lukas Sedlak resulted in the Czech-born Monsters center’s second goal of the year, an even-strength score assisted by Nick Moutrey and Derek DeBlois.
Trent Vogelhuber vaulted Lake Erie in front by a pair at 7:52 of the third, when the Cleveland-born winger scalded home his seventh marker of the season, an even-strength, four-on-four score, fed by Jaime Sifers and Dillon Heatherington, that made it 3-1 Monsters. A late Greg Rallo tally drew the Stars within one at 16:05, but the Monsters held on for a thrilling 3-2 victory.
Brad Thiessen improved to 4-2-2 in net for the Monsters this season by virtue of a rock-solid, 30-save performance while Phillippe Desrosiers took the loss between the pipes for Texas despite stopping 20 of the 23 Lake Erie shots he faced.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday rematch vs. the Stars at the Q at 1:00 pm.