Toronto Marlies (6) at Cleveland Monsters (7)
The Monsters were the first on the board 1:25 into the game. Paul Bittner took two whacks at the puck but couldn’t get it past Jeff Glass. Zac Dalpe swooped in behind Bitter and whacked the rebound into the net.
Four minutes later, the Marlies tied the game at one. Andreas Borgman backhanded the puck towards the point where Dmytro Timashov was posted. Timashov wound up and launched the puck down the ice into the net.
Nine minutes into the first period Trevor Moore broke away at the blue line and fired the puck at Matiss Kivlenieks from point blank range. Kivlenieks tried to close his armpit and in the process the puck wobbled into the net. The Marlies now had the 2-1 lead.
The Marlies’ lead didn’t last long as Eric Robinson scored a wraparound equalizer goal through Glass’ five-hole with a little over six to play in the first.
A few minutes later, the Monsters took the 3-2 lead over the Marlies.
From behind the net, Sam Vigneault sauced the puck to Brett Gallant who slapped it into the back of the net.
With a little over two to play in the first period, Kevin Stenlund stickhandled his way through traffic and backhanded the puck into the net. This was on filthy goal. Hopefully, parents covered their children’s eyes with it was scored.
The second period started out similar to the first with a goal by Dalpe 1:15 into the period. Dalpe dropped to his knees near the goal line to give the Monsters the 5-2 lead over the Marlies.
At this point the Marlies swapped Glass for Eamon McAdam in net.
Things were going great for the Monsters at this point. Nothing seemed to be able to stop them. BUT THEN the Marlies got the bright idea to score three goals in a row.
A little over eight minutes into the second period, Josh Jooris tipped a pass from Pierre Engvall into the net to put the Marlies within two of the Monsters.
With 8:23 left in the period, Timothy Liljegren fired off a shot from the blueline which Sam Gagner tipped into the net. The Marlies slowly began closing the gap between them and the Monsters.
A few minutes later a defensive breakdown, a wing, and a prayer led to Adam Brooks tying the game at five for the Marlies.
Things were starting to look dicey for the Monsters. Luckily, they came into the third period refreshed, ready to play, and with Brad Thiessen in net.
Three minutes and 11 seconds into the third period Dalpe earned a hattrick after tipping in a pass from Mark Letestu.
The Marlies were not going to let the Monsters end the third period on a high note. With 3:39 left in the game Rasmus Sandin tied the game up at six. The Marlies screened Thiessen allowing Jeremy Bracco to fire off a shot from the blueline that Sandin tipped into the net.
Both teams desperately tried to score before time ran out on the third. Unsuccessful attempts by the Monsters and Marlies led to an absolutely thrilling three-on-three overtime. Despite the amount of passion and energy both teams put forth during over time, no one would score thus forcing a shootout.
First up for the Monsters and Marlies were Dalpe and Gagner. Dalpe raced down the ice and fired a shot towards McAdam’s five-hole. He closed the opening fast enough to deny Dalpe the goal. Gagner sped down the ice going right to left before stopping to shoot the puck on Thiessen’s glove side. Thiessen couldn’t get his glove there in time. After one round of the shootout it was 0-1 in favor of the Marlies.
Up next was Letestu and Carl Grundstrom. Letestu went wide left then wide right before scoring on the glove side of McAdam. Grundstrom turned on the burners at the top of the circle and came in at an angle. He then fired the puck just wide of the net. After two rounds of the shootout it was tied 1-1.
The final round consisted of Nathan Gerbe and Timashov. Gerbe slowed down his stickhandling in an attempt to lull McAdam to sleep. It worked as he was able to push the puck into the net. Timashov raced towards the net and fired the puck directly into Thiessen’s pads.
The Monsters left this game both relieved and happy with the win.
But Wait! There’s More
- Dalpe’s first period goal was offensive prowess at its finest. A good forward knows you have to be there to scoop up your teammate’s possible rebounds. By coming in behind Bittner, it cut the Marlies defense off from protecting Glass. This left Glass vulnerable on one side of the net.
- Robinson is the wraparound King. He quietly skates around the back of the net and is able to get the puck through the defending goalie’s five-hole before they even realize Robinson let the puck go.
- Cross is a great player to have as your defensive partner. Last night, Carlsson kept getting pushed into the net after the play was blown dead. Cross was not having that and gave the Marlies a preview of what would happen if they continued acting this way.
- Play in the second became a bit sloppy after the Monsters were on the penalty kill. They started playing as though they were behind and fumbled a lot of passes. I’m unsure of if they were tired after the pk or if it was in that moment they realized the game started to get away from them.
- There were 13 goals scored between the two squads. Honestly, there weren’t many that were soft goals. A lot of them were either from defensive breakdowns or because the offense tapped into some sort of city of Cleveland magic.
1st – Zac Dalpe (3g,1a)
2nd – Eric Robinson (1g, 2a)
3rd – Nathan Gerbe (0g, 1a, Game Winning Shoot out goal)
Sunday, November 4th. the Monsters take on their former division rival, the Grand Rapids Griffins, at 5pm est. It’s Monsters family day so there will be a post-game skate and select players will be giving out autographs. Even better, you can get a hotdog, chips, and a drink for only $6.