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Lock Monsters drop Leafs again.
by Alex Pufhal

The Lowell Lock Monsters won another game tonight. They defeated the St. John's Maple Leafs 4-2 in St. John's. The win may be nice but I don't think anyone in the room cares about it right now. Lock Monster D Jeff Libby was seriously injured in the 2nd period after a collusion with St. John's Mark Deyell. Deyell's skate caught Libby on the side
of the head and he was down for a long time. When he got up, there was a lot of blood on the ice.

Maple Leafs Media Co-Ordianator Chris Schwartz released an update about 8:50pm ET that said that Libby was at a local hospital but may have lost total use of his eye.

The incident was entirely accidental, Libby was down on the ice after breaking up a play and Deyell ran into him.

Otherwise it was a very good night for the Lock Monsters who defeated the Leafs for the 2nd straight night and have now won 4 of their last 5 games on the road. They got goals from Steve Webb who has been snake-bitten so far early in the season and he finally nailed his first of the season. Jeff Ware tied the game for St. John's, his first professional goal.

Lock Monsters D Ray Giroux picked up his first professional goal in the 3rd period, Deyell   then scored for the Leafs,  Dean Malkoc then scored what proved to be the game winner late in the 3rd. Evegeny Namenstikov closed out the scoring with an
empty net goal.

Lowell Sun:

Lock Monsters prevail again; Libby hurt

Lowell 4, St. John's 2 Sunday, November 08, 1998

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland -- Defenseman Dean Malkoc broke a 2-2 tie with his first goal of the season late in the third period and the Lowell Lock Monsters went on to a 4-2 victory over the St. John's Maple Leafs in American Hockey League play last night.

The win was overshadowed by a serious eye injury to Lowell defenseman Jeff Libby, who was cut by a skate. Libby, a second-year pro from UMaine, remained in the hospital last night as the team flew home for tonight's game against Portland.

Steve Webb and Ray Giroux also scored their first goals of the season for Lowell. The Monsters and Maple Leagues were tied 0-0 after one period and 1-1 after the second period.

With 5:40 left to play, Malkoc scored an unassisted even-strength goal to give Lowell a 3-2 lead. John Namestnikov sealed it with an empty-netter that he scored from beyond center ice.

Lowell, which went 0-for-6 on the power play, is 9-4-1 and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

Marcel Cousineau once again was the winning goalie for Lowell, making 22 saves as the Lock Monsters outshot their hosts 41-24 before 3,136 at St. John's Memorial Stadium.

Zdeno Chara, Lowell's 6-9 defenseman, got into his second fight of the weekend. Observers scored both fights as wins for Chara.

The Lock Monsters and Portland Pirates lock up in a 5 p.m. game today at Tsongas Arena.

St. John's Telegram

For Sunday, November 08, 1998
Injury to Lowell player makes win insignificant 11/8/98
By ROBIN SHORT Telegram Sports Editor

Lowell completed a two-game American Hockey League sweep of the St. John’s Maple Leafs Saturday night with a 4-2 victory at Memorial Stadium, but the Lock Monsters weren’t in a celebrating mood following the game.

Their thoughts were with teammate Jeff Libby, who was rushed to hospital after being cut on the eye by a skate.

Libby, a 24-year-old defenceman from Waterville, Me., was trailing the play when the Leafs’ Mark Deyell was upended by a Lowell player. Deyell’s skate came up and caught Libby in the eye area.

The Lowell player, bleeding profusely, immediately left the ice.

"It’s the most tragic thing I’ve seen here," said Maple Leafs’ team physician Dr. Dick Barter. "And it was a freaky play, absolutely freaky."

Barter said Libby was scheduled to undergo surgery late last night, but the prognosis isn’t good.

"We’ll have to wait and see, but the chances of him getting his sight back are about 10 per cent. It’s a very bad injury. The eyeball was cut," said Barter.

The tragic incident ruined what otherwise was a successful return to Stadium ice for Lowell goaltender Marcel Cousineau.

Cousineau, a three-time Molson Cup winner for the Maple Leafs, made his first appearance in St. John’s after signing with the New York Islanders as a free agent over the summer.

"It puts things into perspective," Cousineau said. "But when I have a bad game and I come home and my baby (20-month-old Alex) is crying, I hold him in my arms. That puts things into perspective too.

"It’s not a pleasant thing to see when something like this happens, whether it’s your teammate or not. All our prayers are with Jeff right now."

Friday night, Cousineau turned in a first-star performance stopping 39 Leaf shots as the Lock Monsters cruised to a 7-1 victory.

The win Saturday was Cousineau’s AHL-leading ninth victory.

"I’m happy these games are over with," he said. "It was different playing here wearing something other than a St. John’s Maple Leafs uniform. At one point during Friday’s game, a blue and white jersey was in front of me. I almost yelled at him to get out of my way."

Steve Webb, Ray Giroux, Dean Malkoc, with the winner, and John Namestnikov, with an empty-netter, scored for the Lock Monsters. Jeff Ware and Deyell replied for the Leafs.

With Saturday’s loss, the Leafs stretch their winless record to five games, dating back to a 5-1 loss to Syracuse Oct. 21.

In those five games, the Leafs have scored only six goals. And while Deyell’s fourth of the year came on the power play, St. John’s has been a pitiful four-for-44 with the man advantage at Memorial Stadium this season.

"We had our scoring chances, especially in the second period," said Leafs coach Al MacAdam. "But our shots were high over the net. When you have four goals in four games, you have to hit the net."

Despite the loss, MacAdam did take some consolation in the fact it was a much better effort than Friday’s embarrassment, the Leafs’ first game following a 12-day break.

The team, he said, played with more heart Saturday, made less mistakes and was much more into the game, "in terms of doing what they’re told to do."

But he’s still not happy with the Leafs’ woeful power play.

"We got a power play goal, but I’m not relieved. One in six is not good enough," he said.

"We’ve got players on the power play who are quality players in this league. But if they’re not going to get their chances, not going to out-battle, not going to out-hustle, not going to out-smart the opposition, they’re not as good as they think they are.

"Their eyes are not lighting up. There’s not enough kill in their eyes."

The Leafs play host to New Haven Tuesday and Wednesday at the Stadium.


Rookie Marc Robitaille started for St. John’s Saturday and turned in another solid performance, stopping 38 shots to earn second-star honours. Francis Larivee got the nod Friday but was pulled in favor of Robitaille after allowing the first four goals ... The weekend series was Deyell’s first action after missing four games with a shoulder injury ... Defencemen Marek Posmyk (shoulder) and Shawn Thornton (back) were weekend scratches ... Ware’s goal was his first as a professional ... Veteran Dane Jackson scored twice for Lowell Friday, while singles came from Vladimir Chebaturkin, Dmitri Nabokov, Warren Luhning, Sean Haggerty and Ryan Huska. Lonny Bohonos replied for St. John’s ... Malkoc was the first star Saturday, while Huska was voted third star. The three stars Friday were, no surprise, Lock Monsters: Cousineau (1), Jackson (2) and Nabokov (3)