Rockford IceHogs (4) at Cleveland Monsters (0)
A little bit of a rough start to the season for the Monsters as they were shutout by the IceHogs,4-0.
Tomas Jurco and Alexandre Fortin started things off for the IceHogs a little under a minute and a half into the game. Jurco tried to go back door but the puck ended up on Fortin's stick who quickly shot it past Brad Thiessen.
The second IceHogs goal of the night came halfway through the second period when Viktor Svedberg was left wide open.
With five and a half minutes left in the game, Matthew Highmore went top-shelf on Thiessen to extend Rockford's lead.
A few minutes later, the Monsters pulled Thiessen for the extra attacker. Jean-Francois Berube blocked a shot that Ville Pokka took off with down the ice and then shot into the empty net.
But Wait! There's More
- Paul Bittner got bigger this summer and is more aggressive. It will be nice to see what a healthy Bittner brings to the Monsters table.
- The special teams did not do well tonight going 0 for 8 on the power play. This isn't shocking to me since much of their time on the power play was spent in the defensive zone.
“I thought we generated plenty of scoring chances. Thought we had some good looks. We just couldn't capitalize on anything” - Head Coach John Madden
- Josh Anderson was incredible to watch. He was one of the faster players on the ice. He laid out hits like it was the playoffs. Simply put, there is a reason why Anderson was headed back to Columbus after the game.
- Rockford's Robin Norell didn't like how Brett Gallant tried to poke home a puck after the whistle blew. So, he fought Gallant. Little did Norell know, Gallant is good at fighting.
- Markus Nutivaara didn't play quite as well as we thought he would in Cleveland. It's clear he has a lot to still work on. I will say this, Nutivaara was a lot more aggressive during battles along the board than I expected.
“I thought Nuti struggled a little bit but I thought he came on a little bit later in the game. For some of these guys coming down to the American Hockey League the plays don't develop the way they do up there” - Head Coach John Madden
1st – Jean-Francois Berube (32 shots faced, 32 saves, TOI: 59:56, 1 assist)
2nd – Tomas Jurco (1g, 2a)
3rd – Matthew Highmore (1g,1a)
With the loss of most of last season's leadership crew, fans and players have been patiently awaiting the announcement of the next captain. Tonight, we did not learn the new identity of the Captain. However, Andre Benoit, Carter Camper, and Alex Broadhurst wore the “A” tonight. It looks like the team is going to be captainless a bit longer than anticipated.
The Monsters head to Manitoba this week to take on the Moose Friday and Sunday. They come home on October 21st for back-to-back games against the San Jose Barracudas.