Texas Stars (4) at Cleveland Monsters (0)
The first goal came halfway through the game. Caleb Herbert was double teamed by two Monsters but managed to fire a shot past Forsberg's right bicep into the net.
Five minutes later, Justin Dowling extended the Stars lead to two after deflecting Nick Ebert's shot.
Eleven minutes into the third period, Austin Fyten backhanded one top-shelf to give the Stars the 3-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Gavin Bayreuther scored his first goal ever through Anton Forsberg's five hole.
But Wait! There's More
- Before the game, the Monsters announced they had released Akim Aliu and Joe Devin from their PTO contracts. Aliu notched five points in 13 games. Those five points came over the course of four games. Devin tallied two points in 17 games and held up the fourth line nicely while everyone was out with injuries.
- Paul Bittner was back in the fold for the Monsters tonight. In the first period, Bittner almost had his first career goal. It was nice to see the rust was shaken off before the puck dropped.
- Nick Moutrey made his first appearance since February 12th. In the first period, Herbert antagonized T.J. Tynan by pushing him and then hitting Tynan in the leg with his stick. Moutrey stepped in before Tynan could react. Later in the first, Moutrey casually skated past one of the Stars knocking the stick out of his hand during a line change. I had forgotten how sassy Moutrey could be. His energy is something the Monsters have missed.
- With a little over seven minutes left, the Stars left their net wide open and the Monsters still couldn’t get the puck in the net. Three shots on goal. For two of the three shots, Peters wasn't even in the crease. Texas' backline stepped up and swept the third one away.
The Monsters started the game out strong but lost their energy when the second period came around. Unfortunately, this has been a struggle a few times this season. “It happens a lot games. It's the flow of the game. They had a lot of power plays in the first period. We killed them off. We came out flat in the second period and they scored a couple quick ones. We thought it was over. - Coach John Madden
- I noticed the Monsters tend to not play as well when they are playing teams in the bottom of the league. I figured it was the Monsters playing down to their opponent. Coach Madden offers another point of view.
At no point did we ever look at the standings. San Antonio is a good hockey club. They have a good power play. Their penalty kill is good. They've had their struggle with injuries as well. Anytime you play a team at this point in the year they are going to come out and play hard and give the extra effort.
1st – Caleb Herbert (1g, 0a)
2nd – Justin Peters ( 24 saves, 24 shots faced, TOI: 60:00)
3rd – Cole Ully (0g, 2a)
After being signed on Wednesday, Gavin Bayreuther started in his first professional and AHL game. He also scored his first goal and point in the final five minutes of the game.
Sam Vigneault played in his first professional and AHL game. He had a -1 and one shot on goal.
The Monsters and Stars meet again tomorrow at 7pm. They then have a homestand for the rest of March.
It's a great time to be home, especially with all these important games. Hopefully, we can produce some wins for our fans. - Coach John Madden