Cleveland Monsters (4) at Texas Stars (5) - Overtime
It took nine goals and overtime to decide Saturday night's game between the Cleveland Monsters and Texas Stars.
The first goal came around the five-minute mark of the first period courtesy of the Monsters. John Ramage fired off a shot from below the blue line which Landon Bow stopped with his pad. Alone in front, Sam Vigneault scooped up the rebound and fired it past Bow's left skate for the goal.
With 5:48 left to play in the first, the Stars tied things up. Denis Gurianov haphazardly threw the puck towards the net. Matiss Kivlenieks managed to block the shot before it started rolling around the crease. Roope Hintz capitalized on the moving puck and popped it into the net past Kivlenieks' glove.
Four minutes later the Monsters regained their lead over the Stars, 2-1. Nick Moutrey received a centering pass at the right faceoff dot from Sonny Milano. Moutrey fired it towards the net. As the puck moved closer to the net it glazed Dillon Heatherington's skate and flew past Bow.
The only goal of the second period would be equalizer scored by the Stars 6:52 into the period. The Monsters left the net unprotected in the middle of a Stars line change. Mark McNeill capitalized on the unprotected net and scored to tie things up.
The Stars would take the lead for the first time 44 seconds into the third period. Andrew Bodnarchuk skated around the back of the net and fired off a shot. The puck bounced off of Kivlenieks stick and into the back of the net.
Five minutes into the third period Andre Benoit would tie things at three with a rocket from below the blue line which bounced off the right post.
13 seconds later the Stars would take back the lead. A wrister by Colin Markison was blocked in front of Kivlenieks. Matt Mangene descended upon the puck and launched it into the net.
Almost 11 minutes later, the Monsters would tie things up at four. Carter Camper fired off a shot which bounced off of Vigneault's skate into the back of the Stars' net.
Neither team was able to score a goal before the regulation clock ran out.
Halfway through overtime, the Stars would skate away with the win. Curtis McKenzie was denied by Kivlenieks. Niklas Hansson rebounded the puck and fired it home.
But Wait! There's More
- The Monsters went two for five on the power play tonight. Which is substantially better than how things have been going on for the Monsters with the extra man. For me, the highlight was their second power play of the evening. While they did not score a goal, their passing was supreme. It was full of crisp drop backs, no looks with meaning and tape-to-tape cross-ice passes.
- Speaking of special teams, the Monsters penalty kill was on point tonight. They applied so much pressure the Stars had to pass the puck multiple times before they could even dream of firing off a shot. A few of the Stars' centering passes were poked off-kilter, too.
- Matiss Kivlenieks was all over the place, in a good way, tonight. The way he glided across the crease with ease to stop shots was incredible. It's a shame the Monsters couldn't come up with a win for him.
- Calvin Thurkauf busted his butt tonight to make something happen but luck was not on his side at all. This kid cannot catch a break.
- Brady Austin is great at protecting Kivlenieks. If you are in the crease for too long, he will push you out so fast your head will spin.
- I don't know what happened during the second intermission but a completely different team hit the ice for the third. The Monsters of the third period were not the Monsters of the first two periods. They played a more frantic game and a lot of mistakes were made. The first two periods were great though.
1st – Niklas Hansson (1g, 0a)
2nd – Sam Vigneault (2g, 0a)
3rd – Matt Mangene (1g, 0a)
Alex Broadhurst, Andre Benoit, and Brett Gallant wore the “A” in tonight's game.
The Monsters come home for a four-game homestand starting Monday, December 18th and ending on December, 23rd.
Monday and Wednesday night's games against the Iowa Wild are “College ID” night. With a valid college ID, you can purchase $6 tickets at the box office and a $6 “College Meal Deal”.
On Friday the 22nd, the Monsters take on the Milwaukee Admirals for “Star Wars Night”. All game presentations will be Star Wars themed and characters will be in attendance. It's also “1-2-3 Friday”. You can get $1 Pepsi products, $2 hot dogs, and select beers for $3.
The first 10,000 fans on Saturday will receive a Monsters knit cap.
All games are at 7 pm est.