LAKE ERIE 6, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Shut out in its previous two games, Lake Erie came to life with six unanswered goals en route to a 6-2 win over Grand Rapids on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Captain Darren Haydar tallied the game-winner and an assist for the Monsters, who snapped a five-game winless skid (0-4-0-1) and won for just the second time in their last 12 outings (2-8-0-2). Haydar has netted the game-winning goal in both of those victories and in three Lake Erie triumphs on the season.
Lake Erie got out to another ominous start, as the Griffins grabbed a 2-0 lead after the first period on scores by Kris Newbury and Jan Mursak, the latter coming on the power play. After the opening 20 minutes, the Monsters, who were blanked twice by Hamilton last weekend, had been outscored 9-0 in their last seven periods of action.
But rookie Brock Bradford broke the spell 4:34 into the second period, and defenseman Brett Skinner’s first goal of the season tied it less than three minutes later. Haydar then broke a five-game goal-scoring drought at 11:29 to put the Monsters on top to stay.
Brandon Yip netted a third-period goal in his pro debut, and Ryan Stoa and Bradford added markers to pad Lake Erie’s lead. Bradford finished with three points (2-1-3) and a plus-4 rating, while T.J. Hensick, Philippe Dupuis, and Matthew Ford each chipped in two helpers.
Monsters goaltender Tyler Weiman earned the victory with 27 saves on 29 shots in net.
The Griffins have now dropped three of their last four games (1-3-0-0).
ABBOTSFORD 3, TORONTO 0
Abbotsford wrapped up its four-game road trip with a 3-0 shutout of Toronto on Tuesday at Ricoh Coliseum. The Heat, who return home for a two-game set against league-leading Rochester this weekend, finished 3-1-0-0 on their road swing.
Colin Stuart scored twice for the Heat, netting an even strength goal in the opening period and adding a power play goal to make it 3-0 midway through the second frame. In between, Garth Murray also found the back of the net for Abbotsford.
Heat goaltender Matt Keetley earned the shutout for his first AHL victory of the season (1-2-0), stopping all 26 shots sent his way. It marked Abbotsford’s third blanking as a team.
The Marlies have now totaled two goals in dropping their last two games (0-1-1-0) after racking up 12 tallies during a three-game winning streak from Nov. 22-27.
ROCHESTER 4, MANITOBA 1
Four different skaters lit the lamp as Rochester rebounded from a 1-0 deficit to post a 4-1 road win over Manitoba on Tuesday before 6,343 fans at the MTS Centre.
It remained a 1-1 contest until the Americans netted a pair of power play goals only 51 seconds apart late in the second period. Graham Mink scored at 18:08, and defenseman Jason Garrison followed at the 18:59 mark.
Amerks rookie goaltender Alexander Salak made 24 saves in net, improving his impressive season record to 15-1-0.
The North Division rivals will square off for a rematch in Winnipeg on Wednesday night.