Toronto Marlies (6) at Cleveland Monsters (5)
The first goal of the night came 1:14 into the game courtesy of the Marlies. Carl Grundstrom wildly backhanded the puck towards the net. The appeared to bounce off of Tommy Cross’ stick before it went across the goal line.
Seven minutes later, the Marlies extended their lead over the Monsters to 2-0. Andreas Borgman was able to get a puck through Jean-Francois Berube’s five-hole as he was falling to block the puck.
With 8:10 left in the first period, Kevin Stenlund put the Monsters on the board with a nice backhanded snipe from the left faceoff circle.
The Marlies took the 3-1 lead with 2:44 left in the first period. Carl Grundstrom stole a puck meant for Zac Dalpe and slammed it into the net.
Almost seven minutes into the second period, the Monsters came within one of the Marlies. Two Marlies (who) tried to create a wall between Paul Bittner and Eamon McAdam. Bittner managed to get the puck past the two. McAdam was able to stop it, but Bittner scooped the puck up for the rebound goal.
With 5:32 left in the second period, Mark Letestu scored a short-handed goal to tie the game at three. Bittner broke away from the pack and took off like a rocket down the ice. On the other side of the ice, Letestu was skating at breakneck speed to catch up to Bittner. When they were parallel (?) to one another, Bittner sauced the puck to Letestu who was able to fire the puck in the tight space between McAdam and the post.
The third period was full of goals, thrills, and excitement.
A little under two minutes into the third period, the Marlies took the 4-3 lead over the Monsters. Trevor Moore passed the puck from the goal line to Mason Marchment who was left unattended near the slot. With no one around to stop him, Marment was able to fire the puck home for the goal.
Two minutes and 24 seconds later, Pierre Engvail broke away from the pack and fired the puck through Berube’s five-hole to make it 5-3 for the Marlies.
Eric Robinson decided to get on the goal scoring fun 5:47 into the third period. Dalpe fired a shot from the right faceoff dot that McAdam blocked. Robinson flew into the slot and fired into the net. The Monsters were now within one of the Marlies.
With 1:57 to play in the game, Letestu fired a heavy-handed shot from the top of the left faceoff circle to tie the game at five.
Both teams were amped up and ready to go after Letestu’s goal. There was no way this game was being decided in regulation. Off to overtime they went.
The Monsters were determined to score in overtime or push the game to a shootout. Unfortunately, the Marlies were ready to wrap this game up in overtime.
With 43.7 seconds left, Marchment beat Berube on his glove side to score the game winner.
But Wait! There’s More
· Paul Bittner has really grown this past season. His on-ice work ethic has been insane.
· Sonny Milano tried to out-muscle the Marlies along the boards multiple times tonight. It didn’t work out in his benefit. However, Milano did try to use some grit along the boards and that’s something people haven’t seen in a bit.
· Mark Letestu is fantastic on the special teams units. The amount of experience he brings to the ice is shown in everything he does.
· The penalty kill unit has gotten incredibly aggressive. This is a great thing. As they get deeper in the season, the Monsters are going to be playing some old time hockey style of play teams. This aggression will come in handy.
· Coming into tonight’s game Zac Dalpe, Eric Robinson, Nathan Gerbe, and Paul Bittner had at least three points when playing against the Marlies. All were able to rack up at least one point tonight. It’s clear these guys have the Marlies number.
· The Monsters need to stop leaving players alone near the net. It almost always ends up leading to their demise.
“We’re leaving guys open on the most dangerous area of the ice. Since you were this big (motions to a child size height) , you were taught to cover those areas and pick guys up in them. So, that’s just them falling asleep” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Mason Marchment (2g, 1a)
2nd – Mark Letestu (2g, 0a)
3rd – Carl Grundstrom (2g, 1a)
The Monsters and Marlies duke it out again on Sunday. Same teams but a different venue. Both teams will travel to the Coca-Cola Coliseum for a 4pm game.
After Sunday’s game, both teams pack up their stuff and head back to Cleveland to play a 7pm game on Wednesday, November 28th at Quicken Loans Arena. Wednesday is “Hoppy Hour” night. You can buy a lower-level ticket starting at $11 and receive a 12 oz domestic beer or Pepsi product. You can buy tickets here.
Also, you can bring a new unwrapped toy to the game. The toys will be distributed to pre-selected non-profit organizations that serve children in Northeast Ohio. The Monsters will be collecting toys until December 15, 2018.