Cleveland Monsters (4) at Charlotte Checkers (5) - OT
Joe Devin scored his first goal of the season to the put the Monsters on the board first 2:55 into the game. Sonny Milano passed the puck to Captain Ryan Craig who shot from the point but it bounced off Alex Nedeljkovic's pad. Devin was posted in front of the net and was able to pop the rebound into the net.
A little over four minutes into the second period the Checkers tied things up. Haydyn Fleury fired a shot from the point which was deflected off of Andrew Poturalski's stick into the net.
Before Poturalski's goal could be announced in the stadium, Marc-Andre Bergeron fired a wrister into the back of the net to give the Monsters the lead.
Mere moments later the Checkers tied the game at two. Captain Patrick Brown banged the puck off the post behind Anton Forsberg.
Almost six minutes into the third period, Ryan Craig was in the right place at the right time to pop the puck into the net. Monsters now led the Checkers, 3-2.
Two minutes later, Jordan Maletta takes a turnover and turns it into a goal to extend the Monsters lead. Maletta fired the puck from inside the offensive blue line.
Under 30 seconds later, Levko Koper brought the Checkers within one of the Monsters off of a face off.
Not even a minute later, Brendan Woods fired a shot from the right circle to tie the game at four goals each.
60 minutes wasn't enough to decide a winner. This game was headed to overtime.
Thanks to Poturalski, overtime only lasted 34 seconds. The Checkers would win this game, 5-4.
But Wait! There's More
- Joe Pendenza and Akim Aliu are an unstoppable force when they are on the ice together. When you combine their speed and grit beautiful thing are going to happen.
- In the first period, Alex Petan took the puck right off of Poturalski's stick. Thus proving why he is an asset to the Monsters. Andrew Poturalski is one of the best players on the Checkers and is quite elusive. The fact Petan was able to nail him down so fast was incredible.
- With Markus Hannikainen and Oliver Bjorkstrand in Columbus, the Monsters had to switch up their lines. The first line became Ryan Craig, Sonny Milano, and T.J. Tynan. Milano and Craig always play well together. They can find each other anywhere on the ice and know what the other's next move is going to be. When you add Tynan to the mix, it's like angels singing in heaven.
- In the second period, Brett Gallant forced a turnover with a heavy hit. This style of play was something the Monsters could have used during earlier in the road trip. It will be nice for the Monsters to have him during the final stretch of play.
- T.J. Tynan and Kyle Thomas share an impressive quality. While not the biggest guys on the team, they are incredibly tenacious and willing to throw their bodies around to create or foil a play.
- During this road trip, the Monsters have been getting really good at making goals out of turnovers. I hope this continues.
1st – Andrew Poturalski (2g,0a)
2nd – Levko Koper (1g,1a)
3rd – Ryan Craig (1g,1a)
The Monsters play the Checkers again tomorrow at 6:00pm est.
Then, the Monsters come home to play the Grand Rapids Griffins on February 28th before heading back out on the road.