Charlotte Checkers Starters:
Connor Brickley - Clark Bishop - Patrick Brown
Jake Chelios - Roland McKeown
Charlotte Checkers Scratches:
Mitchell Heard, Josh Wesley, Andrew Miller, Kris Newbury, Brendan Woods, Trevor Carrick
Cleveland Monsters Starters:
Oliver Bjorkstrand - Justin Scott - Markus Hannikainen
Ryan Stanton - John Ramage
Cleveland Monsters Scratches:
Dillon Heatherington, Blake Siebenaler, Mike Brown, Paul Bittner, Oleg Yevenko, Jacob Graves, Brad Thiessen, Brett Gallant
The Monsters returned to Cleveland after a quick one-game roadtrip to take on divisional opponent, Charlotte Checkers, for the first time during the 2016-17 season.
The first period of the game went by rather fast ending with no score. Lack of scoring does not mean lack of action. With almost 11 minutes left in the first period, TJ Tynan took a slashing minor to prevent Jake Chelios from scoring on a displaced Joonas Korpisalo. Five minutes later Jordan Maletta would take Kevin Raine's stick to the face. Since the play drew blood, Raine headed to the box for four minutes instead of the normal two giving the Monsters an extended powerplay. During the powerplay, the Monsters were only able to fire off four shots on goal. However, one of those shots was an incredible goal attempt by John Ramage who bluffed a pass and then slapped a heavy-handed wrister towards the goal. Alex Nedeljkovic managed to snap his attention towards the incoming puck and managed to stop it from entering the net.
At the end of the first period, Ramage took a hooking penalty. This penalty left the Monsters down a man for the first 1:24 of the second period. Ramage tried to repent for the penalty but was quickly denied by Nedeljkovic. With a little over 12 to play in the second, the Checkers had three good opportunities to score on Korpisalo. Marc Andre Bergeron didn't like how close the Checkers were to scoring and pushed the puck out of play.
At the 13 minute mark of the second, things began to take a weird and exciting turn. First Aaron Palushaj and Ryan Stanton ended up in the box together giving the Checkers a two-man advantage for 52 seconds. As Palushaj's penalty ran out, Jaimie Sifers blocked a shot which caused the steel in his skate to become dislodged. Markus Hannikainen and a ref had to help push Sifers off the ice.
As time ran out on Stanton's penalty, Maletta broke away from the pack and went top shelf on Nedeljkovic putting the Monsters on the board first. The Monsters finished the second period up 1-0.
The third period proved to be the most exciting period of the game. Thirty seconds into the period, Lucas Wallmark scored off a Bergeron turnover. Within 40 seconds, Oliver Bjorkstrand skated around the back of the net, spins, fired from the left circle, and scored on Nedeljkovic giving the Monsters the 2-1 lead. The Checkers wouldn't tie things up again until the 14:51 mark of the third period thanks to Connor Brickley. The screen in front of the net blocked Korpisalo's vision of the puck. There was no way he was stopping it from entering the net. Mere minutes later Ramage scored from the exact same place Bjorkstrand did earlier in the period. The Checkers pulled Nedeljkovic with two minutes to play giving Bjorkstrand the opening to score the 4th and final goal of the game.
The Monsters would beat the Checkers,4-2, in regulation extending their point streak to seven games.
The two teams square off again on December 22, 2016 at 7pm EST in Cleveland.
Honorable Mention: Markus Hannikainen