Charlotte Checkers (4) at Cleveland Monsters (1)
The Checkers would strike first 1:17 into the second period. Connor Brickley received a bad Monsters pass square on his stick. Brickley took off down the ice and fired the puck into the back of the net before Dean Kukan could catch him.
Six minutes later Andrew Miller worked through being double teamed to extend the Checkers lead to two. Miller worked hard to get that goal. After muscling through the double team, he avoided Sifers sliding across the ice and had to skate to the other side of the crease before getting the shot off.
Philip Samuelsson extended the Checkers lead to three goals four minutes and 20 seconds into the third period. He was able to fire one up the middle just a hair to the left of Jordan Maletta and past Anton Forsberg.
The Monsters finally sounded the goal horn 36 seconds after Samuelsson's goal. Without looking, T.J. Tynan passed the puck across the front of the net to Zac Dalpe who was able to pound it into the net.
The Monsters finally had their legs beneath them and momentum in their favor. However, Danny Kristo had other plans for how this game was going to go. With close to seven minutes left in the third, he fired a rocket from the left faceoff dot to give the Checkers the 4-1 lead over the Monsters.
There was no way the Monsters were coming back from this one.
But Wait! There's More
- During the first period, the Checkers tried to lay heavy hit after heavy hit but the Monsters were a hair too fast for them.
- The Monsters had many breakaway attempts tonight. Unfortunately, they couldn't finish on any of those breakaways. Luckily, this is the last time they will see McCollum so they won't have to worry about him reading their every move.
- All night the Monsters passes were all over the place. One horribly placed passed led to the first goal of the night for the Checkers.
- The Monsters' special teams didn't look so hot tonight. They allowed a goal on both the power play and the penalty kill.
- Sam Vigneault is a nice touch on the power play or in a 4-on-4 situation. Tonight he played on a line with Markus Hannikainen and Sonny Milano where fans were treated to Vigneault's fast play. It's good to see he can keep up with the fastest guys on the team.
- Coach John Madden isn't too worried about tonight and is already looking towards the future.
“We feel good. We were just off tonight. We weren't clicking. Our compete level wasn't high enough times. Win that many games in a row and you're bound to have one that's a little off.” - John Madden
1st - Tom McCollum (30 saves, 31 shots faced)
2nd – Andrew Miller (1g, 1a)
3rd – Zac Dalpe (1g, 0a)
Roland McKeown scored his 10th AHL assist on Andrew Miller's second-period goal.
“There's no time to dwell on this game. We've got five on the road and three back home. So we've got to start focusing on our next game which is in Chicago.” - Coach John Madden
The Monsters head out on the road for the next few games. First stop is a Saturday night tilt against the Wolves in Chicago. Then they hop on the bus and travel to Iowa where they face the Wild in an early evening game at 5pm on Sunday.