Ontario Reign (4) at Cleveland Monsters (7)
A minute and 23 seconds into the game Tyler Motte received a pass from Carter Camper and took off down the ice. He would slam it home past Jack Campbell to put the Monsters on the board first.
Four minutes later, John Ramage fired from the faceoff circle. Justin Scott was posted in front of the crease and jumped to avoid getting in the way. Campbell managed to stop the shot with his pad. Scott saw the loose puck and scooped up the rebound for the Monsters second goal of the night.
With five minutes left in the first period, Joe Pendenza poked the puck away from a Reign player and passed it to Jordan Schroeder. He would score moments later pushing the puck past Campbell's left skate.
After allowing three goals in the first period, Campbell was replaced by Cal Petersen to start the second period.
The Ontario Reign didn't see their first goal of the night until 4:45 into the second period. Sean Walker was trying to win a battle along the boards and ended up shooting the puck into the net.
Kevin Gravel would score the Reign's second goal of the night a little over halfway through the period. A series of nice passes by Michael Mersch and Matt Luff led to Gravel's goal.
Two minutes later, Motte scooped up his own rebound and poked it behind Petersen to give the Monsters the 4-2 lead over the Reign.
Five minutes into the third period Paul Bittner fired the puck towards Petersen. Calvin Thurkauf got a piece of the puck and redirected it into the net. The Monsters now led the Reign, 5-2.
The final seven and a half minutes of the game became a goal fest.
Brett Sutter went one-on-one with John Ramage before going top shelf on Brad Thiessen. The Reign were closing in on the Monsters, 5-3.
With a little over four minutes left to play, Sam Vigneault snuck around the back of the net with the puck and passed Thurkauf who was open near the net. He would slam it home to extend the Monsters lead over the Reign, 6-3.
Mersch would score the Reign's fourth and final goal of the evening with a little over a minute to play.
With nine seconds left in the game, Motte would score on the Reign's empty net and earn the hattrick.
But Wait! There's More
- If Justin Scott had not been mindful of his positioning and where the puck was located, the Monsters' second goal of the game might not have happened.
- Brad Thiessen stopped 23 of 27 shots faced. The Reign ended up in his crease a lot. His superb reflexes prevented many shots from becoming goals.
- The Monsters allowed their strong start to fuel them through the rest of the game.
“Teams that get off to a good start usually have success. My message before the game was 'Let's not wait it out. Let's not feel each other out.' - Coach John Madden
- Paul Bittner stood out tonight. This was only his second game of the season but he played with midseason form.
“I thought he was engaged. I thought he made some real smart plays. He did some really nice things out there.” - Coach John Madden
- In a matter of two minutes, the Monsters went from playing 4-on-4 to being on the short end of a 3-on-5. They managed to keep up their energy and motivation despite being shorthanded.
1st – Tyler Motte (3g, 0a)
2nd – Calvin Thurkauf (2g, 0a)
3rd – Carter Camper (0g, 2a)
Motte's hattrick was his first professional hattrick.
Still no captain in sight. However, Andre Benoit, Alex Broadhurst, and Carter Camper were all rocking the A tonight.
The Monsters and Reign meet again on Saturday at 1pm.
Then the Rockford IceHogs come to town on Halloween. The game starts at 7pm and there will be trick-or-treating before the game on the concourse. Don't forget to dress up!