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Monsters Get Ready For Rochester

In the third of four meetings between the two teams this season, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck on Saturday vs. the Rochester Americans, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, with full coverage underway at 7:35 pm, live from Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY, on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 4-3 road overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies on April 8th, the Lake Erie Monsters enter tonight’s game at 39-21-6-5 on the season. With a .627 points percentage, the Monsters currently rank alone in third place in the AHL’s Central Division standings and alone in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Monsters are led in scoring by centers Michael Chaput (15-28-43) and T.J. Tynan (6-36-42), and right wing Daniel Zaar (19-22-41).

AMERKS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 3-1 home loss to the Binghamton Senators on April 8th, the Rochester Americans enter tonight’s game at 33-35-2-1 overall this season. With a .486 points percentage, Rochester currently ranks alone in fifth place in the AHL’s North Division standings and 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Amerks are led in scoring by center Eric O’Dell (24-22-46), right wing Justin Bailey (19-24-43) and left wing William Carrier (13-17-30).

KEYS TO SUCCESS

  • ROLE REVERSAL: Counterintuitively, the Amerks’ power-play has allowed the AHL’s most shorthanded goals this season (14), while Rochester’s penalty-kill has scored just one shorthanded goal (30th) so far this year.
  • TRENDING NOW: The Monsters are currently riding a six-game points streak, tied for the AHL’s second-longest such active streak. Meanwhile, the Americans lost four straight at home, tied for the league’s second-longest streak of its kind.
  • AMERKS’ NEMESIS: Monsters forward Alex Broadhurst leads all Lake Erie skaters with four head-to-head points (1-3-4) in two appearances vs. Rochester this season.

SEASON SERIES: Saturday marks the third of four head-to-head meetings between the Monsters and Amerks overall this season and the second of two meetings between the two teams at Blue Cross Arena this year. The Monsters currently show an even goal differential vs. Rochester (8/8) this season, are 1-1-0-0 vs. the Americans overall and 0-1-0-0 vs. Rochester on the road this year.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Anton Forsberg is 21-10-5 in a team-leading 39 appearances for the Monsters this season with two shutouts, a 2.42 GAA and a .912 S%. In his last appearance, Forsberg stopped 28 of the 32 pucks he faced in a 4-3 road overtime loss to Toronto on April 8th. In two appearances vs. Rochester this season, Forsberg is 1-1-0 with a 3.59 GAA and a .860 S%. In 17 road appearances this season, Forsberg is 6-6-3 with a 3.23 GAA and a .892 S%. February’s CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, Brad Thiessen, is 12-4-4 in 22 appearances for the Monsters this season with a team-leading three shutouts, a 1.95 GAA and a .929 S%. In his last appearance, Thiessen stopped 25 of the 26 pucks he faced in a 4-1 road win over Chicago on April 2nd. Thiessen has not faced Rochester this year and on the road this season, Thiessen is 6-3-3 in 13 appearances with two shutouts, a 2.05 GAA and a .928 S%.

In 26 appearances for the Amerks this season, Linus Ullmark is 10-14-0 with a 3.37 GAA and a .902 S%. In his last appearance, Ullmark stopped 23 of the 26 pucks he faced in a 3-1 home loss to Binghamton on April 8th. Ullmark is 0-1-0 in one appearance vs. Lake Erie this season with a 4.02 GAA and a .862 S% with those numbers stemming from a 25-save performance on 29 shots faced in a 5-2 road loss to the Monsters on February 25th. At home this year, Ullmark is 6-6-0 in 14 appearances with a 3.13 GAA and a .910 S%. Andrey Makarov is 8-9-2 in 21 appearances this season with a 2.97 GAA and a .912 S%. In his last outing, Makarov stopped 33 of the 37 pucks he faced in a 5-2 home loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on April 3rd. Makarov has not faced Lake Erie this season and is 6-2-2 in 12 home appearances with a 2.21 GAA and a .928 S%. Nathan Lieuwen is 14-10-1 in 26 appearances for Rochester this season with two shutouts, a 2.86 GAA and a .911 S%. In his last appearance, Lieuwen stopped 26 of the 32 pucks he faced in a 6-1 home loss to Binghamton on March 13th. In one appearance vs. the Monsters this year, Lieuwen is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .921 S% with those numbers stemming from a 35-save performance on 38 pucks faced in a 6-3 home win over the Monsters on October 9th. In 12 home appearances for the Amerks this season, Lieuwen is 6-6-0 with a 3.69 GAA and a .895 S%.