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Preview: Monsters, Wild Battle for Coveted Playoff Spot

John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Cleveland Monsters at Iowa Wild

Tuesday, April 4th at 8pm est

Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa

Radio: 99x(99.1); 99x Online

Twitter: @IAWild ,

@MonstersHockey , #CLEMonsters

Cleveland Monsters, 35-28-3-4, 77 points, .550 win%, 4th Central, 7th West

vs

Iowa Wild, 31-30-6-2, 70 points, .507 win%, 6th Central, 10th West

The Monsters, Checkers, and Wild are in a battle for the last spot in the division. If the Monsters win tonight, the Wild are basically eliminated and have to climb a steep incline to get to the playoffs. This will be in the back of Iowa's mind for the entire game.

There will be a battle tonight. There will probably be blood.

Things were a little chippy when the two squads met on Sunday. Nothing too crazy happened. Tonight will probably be different. I expect Kunin or Seeler to try and go toe-to-toe with Gallant, Sifers, Yevenko, Ramage, or everyone.

The Wild have their core team from Sunday. On the other side of things, the Monsters lost Sonny Milano to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the foreseeable future. Now isn't really the time to lose your best point scorer. Luckily, Zac Dalpe and T.J. Tynan are on point streaks. While Dean Kukan has come out of his shell scoring six points in the past six games.

The Monsters power play has dramatically gotten better. In the past month, they went from 29th in the league to 19th. The better the power play is the better the team plays as a whole.

They will need to keep the momentum in their favor for all 60 minutes. Once the Wild get their legs under them, there is almost no stopping them. They want this win just as bad as the Monsters.

The question is who will play like this is the last game of the season?

Wild Monsters
21-4-2-0 Leading After 1 11-2-1-2
23-2-3-1 Leading After 2 19-2-0-2
8-12-1-1 Tied After 1 16-10-2-1
5-6-3-1 Tied After 2 12-5-3-0
2-14-3-1 Trailing After 1 8-16-0-1
3-22-0-0 Trailing After 2 4-21-0-2
13-9-2-1 Outshooting Opponent 16-10-1-2
17-20-4-1 Outshot by Opponent 19-18-2-1

Season Series

10/25/2016 – Monsters (7) @ Wild (3) W – recap

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

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

02/03/2017 – Wild (3) @ Monsters (0) = Lrecap

02/04/2017 – Wild (1) @ Monsters (0) = L (OT)recap

02/08/2017 – Monsters (2) @ Wild (1) = W (OT) – recap

02/19/2017 – Monsters (2) @ Wild (0) = Wrecap

02/20/2017 – Monsters (2) @ Wild (4) = L – recap

03/24/2017 – Wild (1) @ Monsters (5) = W – recap

03/26/2017 – Wild (0) @ Monsters (4) = W – recap

04/02/2017 – Monsters (4) @ Wild (0) = W – recap

04/04/2017

Stats Matchup

Wild Monsters
2.35 (29) GPG 2.57 (23)
2.64 (6) GAPG 2.69 (8)
16.7% (18) PP% 16.4% (19)
81.7% (17) PK% 85.5% (3)
Alex Tuch, 16 G Leader Markus Hannikainen, 17
Pat Cannone, 24 A Leader Milano, Tynan, 27
Pat Cannone, 33 P Leader Milano, 43
Nick Seeler, 105 PIM Leader Brett Gallant, 111
13-15-3-2 Road/Home 15-17-1-2
3-7-0-0 Last 10 8-2-0-0
0-2-0-0 Streaks 2-0-0-0