Lock Monsters Kill the Beast
by Alex Pufhal
The Lowell Lock Monsters finally killed the beast that has been bugging them so far in the early season on Sunday afternoon, finally getting by the Beast of New Haven 4-1 in a game at New Haven, CT.
Rookie center Mike Peron, up from Roanoke of the ECHL to replace Craig Charron who has left for TeamUSA had a huge night in his first AHL game. He scored his first goal of the season at 9:34 of the 2nd on an
assist by Dean Malkoc. Ryan Huska scored his first AHL goal as well at 19:21, Peron assisted on that goal.
Dane Jackson scored his 3rd and Sean Haggerty his 4th goal of the year to round out the scoring. Shane Willis had the lone New Haven goal.
Marcel Cousineau coming off the shutout Saturday night had another 28 saves for his league leading 7th win. By virtue of giving up the one goal his GAA drops to 2.20 Mike Fountain took his 5th loss of the season for the Beast, making 19 saves.
The Lock Monsters take on the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night and then travel to St. John's for a pair on the weekend before returning home to host Portland a week from tonight.
Lock Monsters trim the Beast
Monsters 4, Beast 1
NEW HAVEN - Sunday afternoon was the game on which the Beast of New Haven would get well. Its favorite whipping boys, the Lowell Lock Monsters, were in town, and the Beast's problems would suddenly disappear like the fog which surrounded the team this weekend.
Au contraire. The Lock Monsters had a score to settle with a New Haven team that embarrassed it twice in Lowell in the first two weeks of the season.
While Sunday's 4-1 victory wasn't total payback, Lowell displayed why it sits in second place in the Atlantic Division and is tied with divisional leader Saint John for the most victories in the American Hockey League with seven.
"I'm not sure if it was motivation," Lowell coach Frank Anzalone said. "For the guys at this level, I'm not sure if it was revenge. We played terrible the first time we played them (a 6-1 New Haven win) and the power play devastated us. The second game (a 5-2 Beast win), we had a bad third period. They played well, and it was meant to be.
"Tonight, I thought we looked like the team I want to see. We got the puck deep and capitalized on our chances. Penalties are still a problem for us, but (Marcel) Cousineau made the saves and their power play overshot the net a few times."
It was a lost weekend for New Haven (4-6-0) as it dropped two games to Providence prior to Sunday's contest. The power play, which was the league's best coming into the weekend, limped out on a 1- for-22 stretch in three games. The Beast had only seven power play shots Sunday.
"We're not making good decisions on our breakouts," Beast coach Kevin McCarthy said. "If you don't break the puck out well, your entry (into the offensive zone) is no good. Your first pass is the most important."
New Haven actually played a good first period, outshooting Lowell 9-5. Thanks to Cousineau, who came off a 2-0 shutout at Portland Saturday night, the Lock Monsters were able to keep the game scoreless.
One of New Haven's big problems this weekend was allowing odd-man rushes that usually resulted in goals. Sunday afternoon was no different as Dane Jackson finished off a 2-on-1 by beating New Haven goaltender Mike Fountain (19 saves) between the pads at 5:53 of the second period for a 1-0 Lowell advantage.
The Lock Monsters have led
in all three meetings between the teams. But this time Lowell wasn't going to let this
lead slip away.
"We have to stop this before the snowball becomes an avalanche," Levins said. "It's good to get out on the road. We haven't had a road trip yet and the guys can get together and win some games."