Iowa Wild (4) at Cleveland Monsters (5) - Overtime
The Cleveland Monsters were the first to strike 1:54 into the game. C.J. Motte left the crease to his left side to stop the puck. A quick-thinking Calvin Thurkauf flew in, stole the puck from Motte, and went around the back of the net. Before Motte could get back into position Thurkauf tossed the puck to Sam Vigneault who was posted in front of the net. Vigneault slammed it home for the goal.
The Iowa Wild tied things up 8:22 into the first period after Mario Lucia redirected a shot from Ryan Murphy into the back of the net.
A little over three minutes later, the Wild took the lead from the Monsters. Zach Palmquist launched a shot from the left point. Closing his five-hole in time, Ivan Kulbakov was able to stop the shot from flying into the net. Sam Anas flew through the face-off circle and into the crease the scoop up the rebound for the Wild's second goal of the night.
With 4:44 left in the first period, the Wild extended their lead over the Monsters to 3-1. Cal O'Reilly shot a puck through Dean Kukan's legs towards Kyle Rau. The puck bounced off of Rau's skate, through Kulbakov's five-hole, and into the net.
The Monsters asked the play to be reviewed as they thought Rau may have scored the goal with a distinct kicking motion. After a quick look, the Refs deemed it a good goal.
Matiss Kivlenieks replaced Kulbakov in net for the Monsters to start the second period.
Jordan Schroeder cut the Wild's lead in half 5:26 into the second period. Doyle Somerby fired the puck from the faceoff dot to the left of Kivlenieks. The puck bounced off the boards and onto Schroeder's stick. While going toe-to-toe with Nick Seeler, Schroeder was able to bounce the puck off of Motte's pad. As Seeler took him down, Schroeder managed to grab the rebound and fire it into the net.
The Iowa Wild would score their final goal of the night 12:57 into the second period. O'Reilly skated around the back of the Monsters' net to the far corner before passing the puck between Kukan's legs to Luke Kunin. A one-timer shot over Kivlenieks left side by Kunin extended the Wild's lead to 4-2.
With five minutes and 40 seconds left in the third period, Justin Scott fired a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle. The puck flew into Motte's armpit. When Motte lifted his arm up the puck fell out and Paul Bittner rebounded it to put the Monsters within one of the Wild, 4-3.
A minute and a half later Blake Siebenaler launched the puck from the blue line towards the net with an immense amount of gusto. The puck flew into the net knocking Motte's water bottle over in the process. Siebenaler fell over in excitement for the Monsters were now tied with the Wild, 4-4.
The best was yet to come for the Monsters as the game headed to overtime.
With 1:25 left in the period, Alex Broadhurst would win the faceoff to the right of Motte. The puck would land on Kukan's stick. Kukan passed to Broadhurst who skated out to the blue line and then turned the burners on. He raced towards the net like a bat out of hell before firing a backhanded shot into the net to give the Monsters the 5-4 win.
But Wait! There's More
- A different team entered the ice last night. At the beginning of the game, the Monsters looked excited and ready to take on the challenge which lay before them. As the game went on their excitement grew. When the Wild took a 3-1 lead in the first period, the Monster didn't look rattled or frazzled. They left the ice with confidence that they were going to make comeback before it was all said and done. By the time the third period rolled around, they were having fun. There is no doubt the Monsters love what they do. It was very clear last night. This is the team Cleveland has been waiting to see this season.
- Zac Dalpe was out there laying hits like a madman all game.
- Two of the Wild's goals were passed through Dean Kukan's legs. I don't know if the Wild studied Kukan and noticed when he gets close to the opposition his stance widens or they just noticed an opening and went with it. I'll be keeping an eye on Kukan's stance and leg positioning in the future.
- The more Blake Siebenaler plays the more his leadership qualities are put on display. The way he encourages teammates and explains plays to them is captainesque. To top it off, Siebenaler's attitude, especially his enthusiasm and love for the game, is infectious.
- Sam Vigneault doesn't just create plays and score goals. He also protects his teammates with a fiery passion. Towards the end of the first period, Hunter Warner aggressively elbowed Tyler Motte. Before anyone could really assess what happened Vigneault flew in and started fighting Warner.
- After giving up three goals on nine shots, Ivan Kulbakov was replaced by Matiss Kivlenieks to start the second period. He let rebounds go astray and couldn't close up his holes fast enough. I'm not going to let this game define the rest of his season. Kulbakov is a good goalie but he still has a bit of learning to do.
- Passing and hesitation were two things which hurt the Monsters in previous games. Last night, the Monsters played an incredible passing game. They also didn't hesitate when shooting at the net. Like I stated earlier in the “Quick Takes”, they were confident in their abilities.
1st – Alex Broadhurst (1g, 1a)
2nd – Sam Vigneault (1g, 0a)
3rd – Blake Siebenaler (1g, 0a)
For the third game in a row Carter Camper, Alex Broadhurst, and Andre Benoit wore the “A”.
Carter Camper played in his 400th career AHL game.
This was the first time the Motte brothers have played against each other at the professional level.
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 7pm est.