Texas Stars (3) at Cleveland Monsters (6)
The Monsters did not have a good start to the game. The Stars came out fast and furious.
Five minutes into the game, Matej Stransky went toe-to-toe with Blake Siebenaler before scoring top shelf.
Twelve minutes into the first period, Brandon DeFazio banked a shot in from the left faceoff circle to extend the Stars lead to two.
Almost six minutes later, Austin Fyten fed Caleb Herbert for the wrap around goal to give the Stars their third of the night.
After giving up three goals in the first period, one would think Anton Forsberg might not start the second period. However, this was not the case.
I thought about it for a second but he's our go-to guy. He wants to compete. He wants to battle. He's been great for us all year. I thought he deserved the chance to stay in the game. - John Madden
The next six goals of the night would come from the Monsters.
Marc-Andre Bergeron started things off with a bang seven and a half minutes into the period. Sonny Milano had a nice cross-ice feed to set him up for the goal.
Seven minutes later, Milano made magic happen. He skated behind the net with the puck and bounced if off of Justin Peters' mask to score the Monsters second goal of the game.
I just kind of saw his head peaking out and banked it off that from behind the net. * laughs * Pretty Simple. - Sonny Milano
The Monsters had the momentum in their favor and weren't going to slow down in the third period.
Seven and a half minutes into the third, Jordan Maletta broke away with the puck and fired it into the net knocking the water bottle to the ice.
Peters found himself out of position with five minutes left in the game. Captain Ryan Craig saw the open net and made a break for it. Peters raced to position but couldn't get there in time to stop Craig from scoring the game-winning goal.
It went over the line, that's all I know. It wasn't very pretty but we aren't in the business of pretty right now. We just want the results. - Ryan Craig
The Stars would pull Peters towards the end of the game for the extra attacker. The Monsters were amped up and ready to take advantage of the empty net.
Milano would score a backhanded shot from the top of the left faceoff circle into the empty net with two and a half minutes to go.
A minute later, Zac Dalpe scored the sixth and final goal of the evening on the empty net from inside the blue line.
I know it wasn't the start they wanted to see but it was the finish they wanted to see. - John Madden
But Wait! There's More
- After a lengthy injury, Justin Scott was back in the fold for the Monsters. The last time Scott suited up for the team was against the Manitoba Moose on February 10th. Tonight he had two shots on goal.
- Brett Gallant spent the majority of the third period displaying his dominance over the Stars.
- The Monsters impressed me tonight. Most teams would abandon ship after giving up three goals in the first period. The Monsters, on the other hand, decided to show the league why they are the defending Calder Cup champions by scoring six unanswered goals.
We just found a way to stay with it. I thought Anton really stuck with his game at 3-0. Mads made the decision to let him play through it and he played through it. From that whole point on we put our heads down, dragged people into the battle, and it worked. - Ryan Craig
- I'm going to circle back to Sonny Milano's goal off of Peters' mask from behind the net. This is a goal Milano has been working on since he was little. Yes, you read that right. He has been practicing behind the net shots since he was little. If that doesn't show you what kind of talent and ingenuity Milano has, I don't know what will.
1st – Sonny Milano (2g, 1a)
2nd – Ryan Craig (1g, 0a)
3rd – Nick Moutrey (0g, 0a)
My first star of the night is the person who clearly listened to last night's post game presser and held up a sign which read “Bus drivers Wanted”. Many of the players filled her help wanted ad tonight.
Everyone was driving that bus. I think everyone had a shot on net. I think everybody had a rebound to look at. I think everybody was contributing. - John Madden
Nick Moutrey played in his 100th AHL game which also happened to be his 100th game as a Monster.
Dillon Heatherington scored his 25th AHL assist on Matej Stransky's goal in the first period.
The Monsters continue their home stand on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Chicago Wolves. Both games are at 7pm est.