Milwaukee Admirals (5) at Cleveland Monsters (3)
The Cleveland Monsters started things off with a bang scoring eight seconds into the game. Hayden Hodgson went top shelf on Anders Lindback to make that happen.
To celebrate, Brett Gallant dropped the gloves with Pierre-Cedric Labrie.
Ivan Kulbakov tried to clear a puck 7:13 into the first period. Instead of clearing the puck, he shot it directly at Trevor Smith's stick. Smith would score before Kulbakov could get all the way back into position.
A little over 12 minutes into the first period, Derek Army took one too many whacks at Kulbakov. Nick Moutrey flew through the crease and went to town on him. The Refs charged Moutrey with roughing thus putting the Monsters down a man.
With four seconds left in the Monsters' kill, Anthony Richard scooped up a Frederick Gaudreau's rebound and fired it past Kulbakov. The Admirals now led the Monsters, 2-1.
A little over nine minutes into the second period, Emil Pettersson was called for slashing putting the Monsters on the power play. Twenty seconds later, Smith pushed Kulbakov down earning himself a goaltender interference penalty.
A two-man advantage in favor of the Monsters is precisely what Cleveland needed. After a series of beautiful passes, Dean Kukan fired a shot from the right faceoff circle into the back of the net to tie the game at two.
With a little over eight seconds to play in the second period, the Monsters took the 3-2 lead. Sonny Milano broke away from the pack and tried to fire off a shot. He tangled with an Admiral a bit before realizing there was no way to fire off a shot. Instead, Milano passed the puck to an open John Ramage who slammed it home.
The Monsters ended the second period on a high and hoped it would propel them to a successful finish.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. The Admirals scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
A little under two minutes into the third period, Federic Allard tied things up for the Admirals after firing the puck over Kulbakov's left shoulder. The puck grabbed a piece of his jersey on the way into the net. He was mere millimeters from being able to block the shot.
The Admirals took the lead with a little over eight minutes to play in the game. Bobby Butler grabbed the puck off of the faceoff and launched it into the net. Kulbakov was not ready for the puck to come flying his way.
Trevor Murphy would score the Admirals' fifth goal of the night from the left faceoff circle with a little under three minutes to play in the game.
But Wait! There's More
- As you can tell by the starting lineup, both teams were ready to make a statement to start the game.
- During the final few minutes of the second period, the Monsters began to play frantic hockey. Once they settled down, they were able to score. Clear, calm, and confident minds lead to successful playmaking almost every single time. Other than those final few minutes, the second period was phenomenal for the Monsters.
“We just played hockey. We stayed out of the box. We took penalties but they were few and far between. We weren't taking them consecutively and that wears you down. I thought we did some good things.” - Head Coach John Madden
- Sonny Milano isn't just a prolific goal scorer. He also has fantastic playmaking skills.
- The rookie in Ivan Kulbakov shone through tonight. He made some dicey play choices throughout the night. One of which led to a goal in the first period. There were a few times he would completely abandon the crease to retrieve a puck while the opposition was barreling towards him.
“He played a puck which he probably shouldn't have. It cost us the first goal. A lot of things went through him. Everybody is a work in progress. He's a young kid just learning at this level.” - Head Coach John Madden
- Cleveland was victorious in the first two meetings of the season against Milwaukee. Yet, they dropped the last two games to the Admirals. It was like two different teams were on the ice with each meeting.
“I think their (Admirals) compete level picked up. The three games we played against them we definitely were the better team. In terms of compete and execution, I think they picked their game up.” - Head Coach John Madden
- Earlier in the season Coach Madden touched on the fact the Monsters were playing hockey in spurts. They just couldn't get their legs beneath them. As the season goes on, the Monsters have played in spurts less and less.
“ Yea, we're getting there. I think the one thing in the last few games we get going for six, seven, eight minutes. We're rolling lines over and then all of a sudden we take a couple penalties. It takes the momentum out of your game.” - Head Coach John Madden
1st – Bobby Butler (1g, 0a)
2nd – Dean Kukan (1g, 1a)
3rd – Trevor Smith (1g, 1a)
For the fifth game in a row, Alex Broadhurst, Andre Benoit, and Carter Camper wore the “A” on their sweater.
The Monsters are looking forward to a relaxing Christmas away from the rink. When they come back they play a back-to-back away and home series against the defending Calder Cup champions, Grand Rapids Griffins, on December 29th and 30th. Both games are at 7pm est.