Ford scores twice and Weiman makes 41 saves as Monsters beat Bulldogs 5-3

HAMILTON, Ont. – Matthew Ford scored twice and Tyler Weiman made 41 saves as the Lake Erie Monsters downed the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3 in American Hockey League action Wednesday.

Brian Willsie had a goal and two assists for the Monsters, while Mike Bartlett and T.J. Hensick also scored.

Andre Benoit led Hamilton with a short-handed goal and an assist. Ben Maxwell and Ryan White also scored and Curtis Sanford made 18 saves.

Lake Erie opened the scoring when Bartlett scooped the puck out of a scrum in front of the net and beat Sanford with a wrist shot.

The Bulldogs tied the game 1-1 late in the first period while on a power play. Benoit sent a pass to Maxwell, who skated past two Monster defenders before firing a backhand shot past Weiman on the blocker side.

Lake Erie took a 2-1 lead early in the second when Ford took a pass from Willsie and fired a shot that squeaked past Sandford’s glove. Willsie gave the Monsters a 3-1 lead when he fired a shot through traffic that bounced off the crossbar and into the back of the net.

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Benoit cut the lead to 3-2 in the third period with a short-handed goal. With Brock Trotter in the penalty box, Benoit fired a Ryan Russell rebound past a sprawled Weiman and into the back of the net. T.J. Hensick restored Lake Erie’s two-goal lead with less than two minutes to play when he rifled a shot that squeezed under the arm of Sanford.

White scored at 19:08 of the third when one-timed a Brock Trotter pass past Weiman and into the net but Ford added his second goal, an empty net marker, to seal the win.