Cleveland Monsters (1) at Hershey Bears (6)
Tonight, was supposed to be the night the Cleveland Monsters showed the league they were the real deal. Unfortunately, the Hershey Bears came ready to avenge their 2016 Calder Cup Finals loss.
Nearly five minutes into the first period, Colby Williams fired off a shot which bounced off of Mike Sgarbossa’s skate into the net.
Six minutes later, Sonny Milano tied the game up at one after banging the puck off of Parker Milner’s back. Using the netminder to score goals might be Milano’s favorite thing to do. Pretty sure he gives goalies nightmares on the regular.
With 2:46 to play in the first period, the Bears took the 2-1 lead over the Monsters. After a series of crisp, clean passes, Nathan Walker dropped to his knees and fired the puck past Brad Thiessen.
A little over a minute and half later, the Bears extended their lead to 3-1. Riley Barber and Tommy Cross went one-on-one. Barber waited for Cross to slide in front of the puck before firing the shot top-shelf. This was a great move by Barber as he read Cross like a children’s book.
The Monsters were able to hold the Bears to just one goal in the second period.
Two minutes and 23 seconds into the second, Jayson Megna was left alone in the slot. You know what happens when Megna is left alone? He scores.
After this goal, the Monsters swapped Thiessen for Matiss Kivlenieks in net.
Four minutes into the third period, the Bears extended their lead over the Monsters to 5-1. The Bears knocked Matiss Kivlenieks’ stick out of his hand. Kivlenieks basically stood on his head to stop the puck. Liam O’Brien was left unattended on the right side of the net allowing him to fire off a shot. Shane Gersich was able to push it into the net for the goal.
With a little under four minutes to play, Aaron Ness launched a shot from the point that O’Brien tipped into the net.
At this point, there was no way the Monsters were coming back from a 6-1 deficit.
But Wait! There’s More
· Tonight, we saw Sonny Milano make baby steps towards being a well-rounded player. He actually laid some nice hits on the Bears. Even more surprising was when Milano entered a melee to defend his teammates. Slowly but surely Milano is growing up into the player he needs to be to get out of John Tortorella’s doghouse.
· Not having Carlsson actually hurt the Monsters tonight. He is great at filling up any holes the goaltender leaves open. Plus, he’s fantastic at clearing the offense out of the crease. If he had played, the two goals which were tipped into the net would not have been scored.
· The Monsters went 0 for 9 on the power play. The first power play unit spent entirely too much time on the ice. During the two-man advantage, the first unit couldn’t handle the aggressive nature of the Bears’ penalty kill. Had the Monsters rolled units they would have likely been fine.
· Brett Gallant needs to be in the lineup tomorrow night. His feisty nature and ability to make plays was severely missed. Also, the Monsters need to learn how to fight. If they want to make it out of the East alive (literally), they need to learn how to throw a punch. As well as, learn how to take one. It’s not like the Western Conference where if you don’t want to fight that’s ok. When someone in the East is ready to drop the gloves, you need to be prepared to take them down. Maybe their next team building event could be taking a self-defense course at the local YMCA because it’s clear they all need it.
1st – Shane Gersich (2g, 0a)
2nd – Nathan Walker (1g, 1a)
3rd – Riley Barber (1g, 1a)
The Monsters and Bears meet again Saturday, November 17th at 7 pm est.