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Monsters Mash: Trade Deadline and a Griffins Dinner

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Your weekly update of all things Monsters, AHL, and Akron/Cleveland hockey. February 27th - March 5th, 2017

John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

After a less than pleasant road trip, the Monsters traveled back to Cleveland to play one game in front of the home crowd. The Monsters put on a show for the hometown beating the first-place Grand Rapids Griffins, 4-1. Joe Pendenza scored two of the Monsters' four goals.

The Monsters tried to maintain the positive momentum going into their game on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Chicago Wolves dominated the Monsters for the greater part of the game. In the end, the Monsters would fall to the Wolves, 7-3.

Transactions

After a stellar showing for 13 games, the Jackets signed Marc-Andre Bergeron to a two-way contract for the rest of the 2016-17 season. He was immediately reassigned to the Monsters. If a defender gets hurt towards the end of the season, look for Bergeron to get the call-up.

Markus Hannikainen was returned to the Cleveland Monsters on March 1st. The night before Hannikainen took two penalties in the first period of the Jackets loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Minnesota Wild placed Zac Dalpe on waivers thinking no one would pick him up. The Jackets were lurking in the background and claimed him. Dalpe was sent to the Monsters and notched an assist in his debut.

Here are a few articles about who Dalpe is and where he came from.

In the final trade of the day for the Jackets on March 1st, Dillon Heatherington was sent to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Lauri Korpikoski.

T.J. Tynan was recalled on Friday for emergency purposes. He didn't see any ice time and was sent back down after the Jackets loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Michael Houser was recalled by the Monsters from the Cincinnati Cyclones. He made is AHL debut in the third period of the Monsters game on Saturday.

On Saturday, Miles Koules signed a 25-game PTO contract with the Cleveland Monsters. This contract should take him to the end of the season. Koules will more than likely make his first appearance with the squad in Wednesday morning's tilt against he Milwaukee Admirals.

Players who were not on the roster by 3pm on March 1st will not be allowed to be sent down to the Monsters for the rest of the season. The only exception is if the player is recalled on an emergency loan. Since the Jackets did not send Oliver Bjorkstrand down before 3pm on March 1st, he will be in Columbus for the rest of the season. This is quite a big hit for the Monsters. Luckily, they have a group of new guys who are ready to fill his spot on the team.

Rankings

Record: 25-24-3-4, 57 points, 5th Central, 10th West

If the playoffs started today, the Monsters season would be over. Luckily, the Monsters are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. There are still a variety of outcomes which could happen.

They could take the four spot from the Iowa Wild if they play well on the current road trip. Even in the four spot, the Monsters would need to continue to win. They do not want to be bumped by the fifth place team in the Pacific.

If the Monsters solidify their spot at fifth place for the rest of the season, there is still hope. If many of the teams in the Pacific tank the rest of the season, the Monsters could possibly enter the 2017 playoffs. Remember, if the fourth-place team in the Pacific has a lower win percentage than the fifth place team in the Central, the fifth place team in the central will bump the fourth place team in the Pacific from playoff contention.

Quite frankly, I'm ok with the Monsters bumping someone out of the Pacific playoff race. It will be nice to see them play against other teams.

Hope is still alive for the Monsters.

Team Leaders

Point Scorers

  1. T.J. Tynan, 30
  2. Sonny Milano, 27
  3. Oliver Bjorkstrand, 26

Goal Scorers

  1. Oliver Bjorkstrand, 14
  2. Markus Hannikainen, 13
  3. Sonny Milano, 12

Assists

  1. T.J. Tynan, 23
  2. Daniel Zaar, 17
  3. Sonny Milano, John Ramage, Dean Kukan, 15

Penalty Minutes

  1. Brett Gallant, 89
  2. Oleg Yevenko, 62
  3. John Ramage, 51

Weekly Stats

Shots For 76
Shots Against 57
Goals For 7
Goals Against 8
Penalties/Minutes 5/10 minutes
Penalty Kill 5 for 5
Power Play 1 for 7
Forsberg Thiessen Houser
1 Games Played 1 1
1-0-0-0 Record 0-1-0-0
21 Shots Faced 32 4
20 Saves 26 3
60:00:00 Time On Ice 40:00:00 20:00:00

Around the AHL

Leaders

Point Scorers

  1. Kenny Agostino, 69
  2. Chris Terry, 52
  3. Wade Megan, Taylor Beck, 51

Goal Scorers

  1. Wade Megan, 27
  2. Greg Carey, 26
  3. Nicklas Jensen, 25

Assists

  1. Kenny Agostino, 48
  2. Taylor Beck, 38
  3. Chris Mueller, 36

Penalty Minutes

  1. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, 128
  2. Tyler Lewington, 122
  3. Tom Sestito, 121

Goaltenders

  1. Zane McIntyre – 1.73 GAA, 15 wins, 32 GA, .942 sav%
  2. Jaroslav Halak – 2.02 GAA, 14 wins, 38 GA, .931 sav%
  3. Troy Grosenick – 2.03 GAA, 22 wins, 67 GA, .931 sav%

Suspensions

Kurtis Gabriel of the Iowa Wild was suspended for six games due to an altercation which took place on February 25th.

Transactions

Due to the fact NHL trade deadline and AHL roster deadline fell on the same day, there were a lot of transactions which took place.

The Iowa Wild lost many key players during the deadline. Zac Dalpe was picked up off of waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Grayson Downing was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for Martin Hanzel and Ryan White. The biggest hit they took was when Teemu Pulkinnen was sent to the Coyotes for future considerations.

Player Awards

Anton Lander of the Bakersfield Condors was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week. Over the course of two games, Lander scored five points for the Condors.

Chris Terry (St. John's IceCaps), Josh Ho-Sang (Bridgeport Sound Tigers), and Troy Grosenick (San Jose Barracudas) were named CCM/AHL Players of the Month.

Story Lines

The director of hockey operations for the Springfield Thunderbirds, Bruce Landon, will retire at the end of the 2016-17 season. Landon has been with the organization since 1994 when they came to down as the Springfield Falcons. The Thunderbirds will honor Landon before their game against Lehigh Valley on March 3rd.

San Jose Barracudas' coach, Roy Sommer, has led his team to a 33-11-1-4 record which places them squarely in the first spot in the AHL. Coaching in his 19th season for the Sharks, Sommer discusses losing players to the trade deadline and having the parent club in close proximity.

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins did not fair well on their road trip either. They only grabbed 4 out of 16 possible points. Don't let that fool you, though. The Penguins are still holding down the first place spot in the division.

Akron/Cleveland Hockey

St. Ignatius and University School will represent Northeast Ohio in the OHSAA State Tournament on March 11th at 4pm. The winner of this matchup will play the winner of Olentangy Liberty vs St. Francis De Sales in the Championship.