Cleveland Monsters (1) at Manitoba Moose (4)
*Hodgson and Moutrey switched lines to start the third period.
The first goal came four minutes into the game for the Moose. Dean Kukan passed the puck to what he thought was an open Alex Broadhurst. However, Buddy Robinson was waiting in the wings to force a turnover and pass the puck off to Jansen Harkins. None of the Monsters were able to catch Harkins before he slammed it home past Matiss Kivlenieks.
The Monsters tied things up halfway through the second period. John Mitchell skated through the Moose defense with ease and lofted the puck into the net behind Eric Comrie. A very simple play which gave the Monsters the results they wanted.
The Moose would take the lead five minutes later when Kyle Connor scooped up a rebound and fired it into the Monsters' net.
The third period did not get off to a good start for the Monsters. Forty-six seconds into the period the puck got loose in front of Kivlenieks. Brendan Lemieux pounced on the opportunity and backhanded the puck into the net. Moose now led the Monsters, 3-1.
With two minutes left in the game, Lemieux took off with the puck towards the Monsters empty. Carter Camper caught up with him and foiled the play before Lemieux could put the puck in the net. However, Camper hooked Lemieux and the Moose were awarded the goal.
Rule 25.1 states:
A goal will be awarded to the attacking team when the opposing team has taken their goalkeeper off the ice and an attacking player has possession and control of the puck in the neutral or attacking zone, without a defending player between himself and the opposing goal, and he is prevented from scoring as a result of an infraction committed by the defending team.
Since Camper hooked Lemieux from behind, it was considered “Tripping”. Thus, the goal was awarded to the Moose even though the puck never entered the net.
But Wait! There's More
- Even though the Monsters didn't score a power play goal, their power play unit looked pretty good. When they had the extra attacker a lot of time was spent in the Monsters' offensive zone. This is a good thing. You want to be posted in front of your opponent's net when you have the extra attacker.
- On the flip side, the penalty kill unit did not look so hot. Both power play goals were scored when Kivlenieks was essentially left out to dry. There was no way he would be able to stop those shots without the help of a teammate. The penalty kill unit is typically the highlight of many Monsters' games. I'm chalking this up to an off day. They will come back in the next game and be a more cohesive unit.
- Kivlenieks faced 34 shots in his first professional game. Even though three goals were scored on Kivlenieks, the 31 saves he made were solid. There is a lot of potential in this goalie. It will be fun to watch him grow as a goalie this season.
- Miles Koules has been a workhorse the past two games. He's definitely making a name for himself on the team. He kept stealing pucks and trying to convert shots into goals. Unfortunately, Comrie was reading Koules' mind and managed to stop every shot.
- Markus Nutivaara has been an anomaly this season. He does something good. He does something bad. He does something good. He does something bad. This is not the Nutivaara Jackets fans saw in the NHL last year. On a positive note, he is getting better every game. Nutivaara's speed is almost back to full-speed. He's reading the ice a bit better than the first game of the season. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses during the five-game homestand. Getting back to the NHL is a big driver for most players. Hopefully, it drives Nutivaara to become even better than the player he was last season.
1st – Brendan Lemieux (2g, 0a)
2nd – Jansen Harkins (1g, 0a)
3rd – Eric Comrie (29 shots faced, 28 saves, TOI: 59:47)
Matiss Kivlenieks played in his first professional game.
John Ramage missed today's game due to the birth of his child. Congratulations to the Ramage family.
The traveling “A” was worn by Andre Benoit, Brett Gallant, and Alex Broadhurst today. Benoit is the only player to rock the coveted letter every game since the season started.
The Monsters travel back to Cleveland for a five-game homestand which starts October 21st (1pm) against the San Jose Barracuda. The Cleveland Cavaliers play at 8pm that night. Be sure to buy tickets and show some love to the other team who calls Quicken Loans Arena home.