The promotion: prom night. The place: The Q Arena. The teams: Lake Erie Monsters and Iowa Wild.
The first period of this game was slow and steady, with the Monsters trying to find a breakthrough after their overtime loss in Iowa on January 18. Both teams only took a minor penalty each and matched each other almost shot for shot, with neither side giving an inch. Even the penalties were within a minute of each other. First on Wild’s Fedotenko for tripping, then on the Monsters’ Lauridsen for hooking. Going into intermission, nobody was on the board and both teams were looking to fire things up.
Iowa came out hard and fast, Blum scored just 16 seconds into the period. The home team faltered the onslaught, even when they had the advantage they were still letting their opponents get shots on net. Mitchell Heard and Collin Bowman gave them exactly what the atmosphere was looking for when they dropped the gloves and got into it. Both players received five for fighting and the Monsters got the boost of confidence they needed. Joey Hishon took that momentum and lit it up, tying the game and giving his team the last push they needed to really come back strong. Shots were equal at 10 when the third rolled around.
Penalties were racked up, fans were riled up and players were thirsty for another goal. The Wild kept their plays alive and took seven shots in the period. The Monsters kept pace with eight shots of their own, going face to face with Wild goalie John Curry. This period was two teams putting all their effort and playing until someone got something through. It wasn’t fast paced but it was calculated. The Monsters had solid passing but couldn’t make it count when they got to the net. Pickard had a tough couple of minutes, stopping at least four of Iowa’s shots in a row before his teammates could get it out of their zone and into neutral ice.
The third ended with everyone a little worse for wear and still tied up at 1. We were going into overtime and the fans went wild. Players picked for the start of overtime were ready to go out of the gate. Both teams were skating fast and getting the puck from one end to the other, with opponents hot on their trails. Four-on-four ended, and it was three-on-three for the last part of this game. Without a score, it would have gone to a shootout, but with only 20.3 left Joel Chouinard got one past Pickard and won the game. His goal was the first for him with the Wild since leaving the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Both teams matched each other and fought till the end on this game. This was the Monsters second to last matchup with Iowa for this season and their third loss, second in overtime.