Cleveland Monsters (2) at Iowa Wild (4)
The first goal of the game came in the form of a penalty shot at 17:39 in the first period. John Ramage took Grayson Downing down on a short-handed breakaway. In essence, Ramage made a very smart play which could have proved beneficial for the Monsters. The goalie doesn't always have time to prepare when a player goes on a breakaway. However, a penalty shot allows the goalie to see the play take form before them. Unfortunately, Downing got the best of Brad Thiessen. He started from the center circle and very slowly skated towards the net before beating Thiessen's five hole.
Over halfway through the second period, Zac Dalpe fired a wicked slap shot down the center of the ice past Oleg Yevenko and right over Thiessen's left shoulder. No one was going to stop that shot.
A minute and a half later, Blake Siebenaler redirected a shot into the net thanks to a setup by Akim Aliu.
Almost 14 minutes into the third period, Kurtis Gabriel extended the Wild's lead to 3-1 after slamming home a rebound.
Two minutes later, former Wild, Alex Petan dove after a loose puck and fired it behind Stalock to put the Monsters within one of the Wild.
With thirty seconds left in the game, Teemu Pulkinnen hunted down the puck and popped it into the empty net to seal the deal on the night.
But Wait! There's More
- Jacob Graves and Blake Siebenaler play well together as forwards. Yes, you read that right. Both Graves and Siebenaler played on the fourth line with Joe Devin as their center tonight.
- Not only is Akim Aliu a skilled player, he also isn't afraid to defend his teammates. When Hunter Warner got over aggressive with Joe Pendenza, Aliu dropped the gloves to send a message. He is fitting in quite nicely on the team.
- One of the common themes with the Monsters this season is the lack of elevated pucks. If they want to start turning shots into goals, the Monsters need to get some elevation on their shots when in point blank range.
- Despite a short bench forcing two defenders to play forward, the Monsters were able to keep up with the Wild. If this is any indication of what is to come when the team is back to full strength, the Monsters will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
1st – Grayson Downing (1g,1a)
2nd – Zac Dalpe (1g, 0a)
3rd – Alex Stalock (35 saves, 37 shots faced, TOI: 59:30)
The Monsters head to Chicago to take on the Wolves in an early tilt on Wednesday at noon est.