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Preview: Wild Spend Weekend in Cleveland

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John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Iowa Wild at Cleveland Monsters

Friday, February 3rd, 2017 - 7:00pm EST

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

Radio: 99x(99.1); 99x Online

Twitter: @IAWild , #IAWild

@MonstersHockey , #CLEMonsters

Cleveland Monsters, 20-17-1-3; 44 points; 4th Central; 9th West

vs

Iowa Wild, 22-19-4-1; 49 points; 5th Central; 10th West

The Cleveland Monsters and Iowa Wild face off in the battle for fourth place in the Central this weekend. Currently, .4% separates the fourth and fifth spot in the Central. If the Monsters sweep the weekend series, their wins jump to 55.2% and the Wild drop to 51%. The four spot will continue to be the Monsters.

If the Monsters continue to hang on to the four spot, they have to keep an eye on the Pacific rankings. The AHL has a rule that throws a wrench into the plan of holding onto the fourth spot to get into the playoffs. If the fifth spot in your conference’s other division has a higher win percentage than your division’s fourth spot, the fifth spot in your conference’s other division will get in over the fourth spot in your division.

Basically, at this point, the Stockton Heat (53.8%, 5th Pacific) would get into the playoffs over the Monsters (53.7%, 4th Central).

So, it’s imperative the Monsters find a way to grab a hold of the three spot. The first step is sweeping this weekend’s series against the Wild.

The Wild are without one of their top scorers, Alex Tuch. The Monsters will have one less skilled point scorer to worry about during this weekend. However, the Wild are on a four-game win streak and really want to grab the four spot out of the Monsters’ hand.

The good news is many of the Monsters play well against the Wild. In their first meeting this season, Marus Hannikainen scored a hattrick. TJ Tynan and JoePendenza have three points each against the Wild this season.

As long as the Monsters stay off the penalty kill this weekend, they will be just fine.

Wild Monsters
13-3-1-0 Leading After 1 7-2-0-2
15-2-1-1 Leading After 2 11-2-0-2
7-5-1-1 Tied After 1 9-7-1-1
4-3-3-0 Tied After 2 7-4-1-0
2-11-2-0 Trailing After 1 4-8-0-0
3-14-0-0 Trailing After 2 2-11-0-1
11-4-1-0 Outshooting Opponent 10-6-1-1
11-14-3-1 Outshot by Opponent 10-11-0-1

Season Series

10/25/2016 - Monsters (7) @ Wild (3) = W

12/14/2016 - Wild (3) @ Monsters (4) = W (OT)

12/16/2016 - Wild (2) @ Monsters (1) = L (SO)

02/03/2017

02/04/2017

02/08/2017

02/19/2017

02/20/2017

03/24/2017

03/26/2017

04/02/2017

04/04/2017

Stats Matchup

Wild Monsters
2.57 (24) GPG 2.59 (23)
2.74 (10) GAPG 2.78 (11)
17.4% (18) PP% 15.7% (24)
82.0% (15) PK% 84.4% (5)
Teemu Pulkkinen; 13 G Leader Oliver Bjorkstrand;12
Pat Cannone; 16 A Leader TJ Tynan; 20
Teemu Pulkkinen; 28 P Leader TJ Tynan; 25
Nick Seeler; 80 PIM Leader Brett Gallant; 79
13-7-2-0 Road/Home 12-8-1-1
7-1-2-0 Last 10 4-5-0-1
4-0-2-0 Streaks 1-0-0-0