Syracuse Crunch (3) at Cleveland Monsters (4)
Coming into tonight’s game, the Syracuse Crunch were riding a 10-game point-streak. The Cleveland Monsters, on the other hand, were looking to end a game in regulation. Their past three games had gone into overtime. Of those three, they only won one. Tonight, was their chance to change the narrative. The Monsters had a bit of a slow start to the game. Once they got going, they were virtually unstoppable.
Almost five minutes into the game, the Crunch struck first. Carter Verhaeghe skated through traffic before backhanding the puck past Jean-Francois Berube.
With 6:10 left in the first period, Paul Bittner tied things up for the Monsters after scooping up a rebound.
“It was a great play from Robs and Dalpe getting it in deep. Then Robs sending it up high to Clendo there. Clend had a nice shot, a nice tip from Dalps. It ended up in the pipes and backdoor to me. So, it was a good play. I was right place, right time.” – Paul Bittner
Two and a half minutes later, the Monsters took the 2-1 lead over the Crunch.
Nathan Gerbe fired off a shot from the near wall. Eddie Pasquale came up big with the kick save but Kevin Stenlund was there to rebound the puck into the net.
The Monsters allowed the Crunch to basically set up shop in front of Berube during their first penalty kill. This led Andy Andreoff getting a chance to tie the game up at two with 1:30 left in the first period.
The only goal of the second came from the Crunch 3:03 into the period. At that time the Monsters had a less than stellar power play where they took a penalty during it. Not long after it became a Monsters penalty kill, Alex Barre-Boulet picked a rebound up for the goal.
As time wound down on the second period, both teams began to play a frantic game. You could tell the Crunch wanted to score and enter intermission with a commanding lead over the Monsters. While the Monsters were desperately trying to tie the game. However, what both teams wanted didn’t matter. The second period ended without another goal. ‘
A little over 10 minutes into the third period, the Monsters tied the game at three. Adam Clendening had an incredible slapper from the face off circle. After the goal, he immediately skated towards the glass screaming “That’s right” and high fived the fans. Between this goal and the intensity of the crowd, the Monsters were able to push the game into overtime.
Everyone wanted to be the hero in overtime. However, there can only be one hero in overtime. Tonight, that person’s name was Kole Sherwood.
With 1:27 left in overtime, Sherwood passed the puck to Zac Dalpe from the left faceoff dot. Dalpe immediately took a shot. Pasquale quickly knocked the puck out of the air. It fell right in front of Sherwood who banged the rebound in for the win.
“I knew they were flatfooted and tired there in overtime. I just saw a break and you know just took off and used my speed and it was three on one. Gave it to Dalps there. I was lucky enough to stop and get the rebound.” – Kole Sherwood
But Wait! There’s More
For the fourth game in a row, the Monsters went to overtime. While some players might find it exhausting to play such a high paced game four nights in a row, Paul Bittner finds it quite enjoyable.
“It’s not too bad. It’s a lot of fun to play in those games, ya know. Tight situations. Three-on-three. It’s a tight game. You gotta stay man to man. It’s a lot of fun out there.” – Paul Bittner
On Wednesday night, the Monsters were inconsistent. Some players were off the charts. While others were a bit of a mess. Tonight, had a different feel to it. Across the board, the lines played incredibly well. There weren’t many missed passes, turnovers, or fumbles during the game.
“If you had to rank all the guys, everybody was above a seven tonight for me. We won our battles. Pretty tight d-zone for us. Every line was gold. Every D pair was gold.” – Head Coach John Madden
The Monsters’ special teams are still a little bumpy. However, they aren’t letting their shaky play bring them down. They are fighting through it and letting the mistakes roll off their backs.
“Yea, well we definitely have some bumps. Right now, things aren’t going well, pp or pk. We talked about it before the game having the mentality that no matter what happens if we get scored on first shift or things don’t go our way, calls don’t go our way just come with the mentality that we keep going until the final buzzer and don’t stop.” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Kole Sherwood (1g, 1a)
2nd – Adam Clendening (1g, 1a)
3rd – Paul Bittner (1g, 0a)
Post Game Presser Videos
The Monsters and Crunch are back at it again on Saturday, December 1st at 1pm. It will be broadcast live on Sports Time Ohio. It’s also Monsters Family Day. The first 2,500 kids, 12 and under, will receive a poster and a Castaway Bay day pass.
Also, until December 15th, you can bring in a new unwrapped toy to the game. The toys will be distributed to pre-selected non-profit organizations that serve children in Northeast Ohio.