Rockford IceHogs (4) at Cleveland Monsters (3)
A.Broadhurst – Dalpe – T.Broadhurst
The Cleveland Monsters started the scoring off 9:43 into the first period. Sam Vigneault skated around the back of the net and passed to Miles Koules who was open near the faceoff dot. Koules spotted Cameron Gaunce posted near the net. He passed the puck to Gaunce who one-timed it into the back of the net.
Zac Dalpe extended the Monsters lead over the IceHogs 24 seconds into the second period.
About seven minutes later, the IceHogs cut the Monsters lead in half. Cody Franson launched a shot towards Matiss Kivlenieks. Andreas Martinsen scooped up the rebound and tossed it past Kivlenieks.
The IceHogs tied the game 6:38 into the third period. Adam Clendening fired a shot towards the net. Matthew Highmore rebounded the puck and was denied. John Hayden rebounded Highmore’s shot for the goal.
Four and a half minutes later the IceHogs took the 3-2 lead over the Monsters. Hayden backhanded the puck to Highmore who fired it from below the blue line into the net.
In an attempt to tie the game, Head Coach John Madden pulled Kivlenieks with 2:45 left in the game. Within 30 seconds, Tanner Kero passed the puck to William Pelletier who fired it into the empty net.
Alex Broadhurst put the Monsters within one of the IceHogs with a little over two minutes to play. A series of great passes by Carter Camper and Markus Hannikainen led to the goal.
The last-minute goal wasn’t enough to power the Monsters to a win.
But Wait! There’s More
Yet again, the Monsters did not play 60 solid minutes of hockey.
They had a bit of a rough start to the game. They played a bit sloppy. Markus Hannikainen had difficulty meshing with the system. Passing was incredibly shaky in the first seven and a half minutes of the game. By the time the halfway point of the first period rolled around, the Monsters seemed to mesh a bit better.
The IceHogs may have ended the first period with a low number of registered shot but that doesn’t mean pucks weren’t flying in the vicinity of the net.
The second period was definitely the highlight of the game for the Monsters. They came out invigorated and ready to go. Unfortunately, the entire period was not good. By the end of the second, the Monsters looked like a hot mess. There were a plethora of missed passes and turnovers.
Rockford came out guns blazing to start the third period. They capitalized on every one of the Monsters’ weaknesses.
“We always seem to play a good period or a good ten minutes. A good two period or a bad first period and then the last two are good. All year long we just haven’t strung together 60 minutes of hockey. Or at least 45 to 50.” - Head Coach John Madden
- If there is a loose puck, Sam Kurker is going to be all over it.
- Turnovers and missed passes were a bit of an issue for the Monsters tonight.
- Matiss Kivlenieks kept the Monsters in the game as long as he could. There is only so much a goalie can do. I was a little shocked when Madden pulled Kivlenieks with 2:45 left in the game considering how well he played tonight.
- It’s clear Markus Hannikainen does not do well when he has to sit for long periods of time. He was incredibly rusty in tonight’s game. There were a few times Hannikainen skated into his own linemate, Carter Camper. Hannikainen also had a hard time chasing down his man on breakaways. The worst might have been when he almost scored on the Monsters’ empty net.
1st – Matthew Highmore (1g, 1a)
2nd – Cameron Gaunce (1g, 0a)
3rd – Andreas Martinsen (1g, 0a)
Alex Broadhurst and Carter Camper continued to wear the “A” tonight. While Zac Dalpe was thrown into the alternate captain mix for the first time in a few games.
Dalpe’s second-period goal extended his point streak to nine games.
The Monsters head out on a two-game road trip this week. First stop is in Chicago against the Wolves on Sunday, January 21st, at 4 pm est.
Next up is a Tuesday night tilt against the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday, January 23rd at 8 pm est.
They return to Cleveland on Thursday, January 25th to start a seven-game homestand.