Cleveland Monsters (2) at Rochester Americans (5)
The Cleveland Monsters and Rochester Americans met on neutral ice last night playing at KeyBank Arena in Buffalo. Despite not having home ice advantage, the Americans settled in nicely and brought their “A” game from the moment the puck dropped. The Monsters….. not so much.
The Americans were first on the board with 1:50 to play in the first period. Justin Bailey outskated Blake Siebenaler before firing off a shot from the faceoff dot. The shot sailed past Jean-Francois Berube’s arm and into he net.
A little over a minute later, the Americans extended their lead over the Monsters to 2-0. Eric Cornel battled along the boards with Dillon Simpson for a few moments before the puck finally came loose. It rolled down the boards to Dalton Smith who quickly picked it up. Smith passed the puck off to Zach Redmond who skated towards the high slot before firing the puck through Berube’s five-hole.
With a little under six minutes to play in the second period, the Americans extended their lead to 3-0 over the Monsters. Berube reached to poke the puck away from Bailey. Before he could drop to the ground and close up his five-hole, Bailey backhanded the puck into the net.
Twenty seconds later, the Monsters struck back with their first goal of the night. Nathan Gerbe fired a shot directly into Scott Wedgewood’s pads. Sonny Milano scooped up the puck and fired it behind Wedgewood from below the goal line.
Halfway through the third period, Wayne Simpson shot the puck past a distracted Berube to extend the Americans lead to 4-1.
Three minutes later, the Americans extended their lead over the Monsters to 5-1 after Simpson launches a shot from below the faceoff dot. There was no defense around to stop him from firing off the shot.
With 30 seconds left in the game, Gerbe banged a shot in off of a defender stick to give the Monsters their second goal of the night.
Unfortunately, this goal was too little, too late.
But Wait! There’s More
· There were at least 10 turnovers last night. All of which led to scoring chances by the Americans. No one could hold onto the puck at all.
· Jean-Francois Berube has been very up and down this season. Sometimes he makes a great play but then he follows it up by leaving his five-hole wide open. There were times last night where he was all over the puck. Then there were times where you could tell he had absolutely no clue where the puck was at on the ice.
· Nathan Gerbe is having a hard time scoring goals this season. The opposing goaltenders have been able to read him very well this season. You can tell he’s trying to find a way out of this scoring funk but nothing seems to be working. Granted, Gerbe was able to score tonight but it was off a defender’s stick. It wasn’t the kind of goal we are used to seeing out of Gerbe.
· Tommy Cross and Gabriel Carlsson were separated last night. This was not the best idea as they both spent a lot of time trying to make up for their partners inadequacies. They need to be put back together. They need to find Dillon Simpson a better partner as well. As you can see, there are not many defense options for the Monsters to pick from right now. So, building decent pairs is going to be tough. One of the things they could do is put Doyle Somerby back in the lineup with Ryan Collins. They play very well together and allow Cross and Carlsson to get the breather they need during line changes.
· As a whole, the Monsters did not play well. They looked exhausted and were outplayed in every way possible.
1st – Justin Bailey (2g, 0a)
2nd – Wayne Simpson (2g, 0a)
3rd – Scott Wedgewood (24 saves, 26 shots faced, 60:00 TOI)
The Monsters head home on Friday and Saturday to take on the Laval Rockets. Both games start at 7pm.
Friday’s game is 1-2-3 Fridays. Fans can buy $1 Pepsi products, $2 hot dogs, and $3 select beers.
Saturday’s game is “Salute to Service” night.