Grand Rapids Griffins (2) at Cleveland Monsters (3) - Overtime
The Cleveland Monsters took down their Western Conference rival, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in overtime tonight. From the beginning of the game, you could tell a much different team from Wednesday entered the ice.
“It was a big improvement from the other night. I’ll just chalk that one up as we enjoyed our break a little too much.” – Head Coach John Madden
Despite the improvement, the Griffins were able to score 4:20 into the game. Libor Sulak fired a shot from the faceoff dot that flew over Brad Thiessen’s right shoulder, off the post, and into the net.
Thiessen spent the rest of the first making Brick Wall style saves.
The second period wasn’t the best. The Monsters spent most of the first half of the period killing off penalties.
“It’s hard to get any momentum going when guys are killing consecutive penalties. That a little bit of a grind.” – Head Coach John Madden
During one of those penalty kills, Carter Camper was able to extend the Griffins lead to 2-0.
Matt Puempel passed the puck from the right corner to Camper who was in the slot. He fried it top shelf over Thiessen’s right shoulder.
When the Monsters finally had their chance at a power play in the second, they made the best of the time given to them. No goal was scored but they did a great job of opening up scoring lanes. Unfortunately, the Griffins were able to read every move the Monsters made like a children’s book.
By the time the third rolled around the Monsters knew they had to do something to get control of the game. They did this by scoring three minutes and 39 seconds into the period.
Nathan Gerbe passed the puck from the near wall to Mark Letestu who open in the crease. Letestu saw Harri Sateri move in anticipation of him firing the puck. So, Letestu tossed the puck a few inches over to Justin Scott who fired the puck into the back of the net.
Leading up to Scott’s goal the Monsters went on a puck shooting spree. Every shot was inches from going into the net.
“I think we hit four or five goal posts prior to scoring. We just stayed with it. That’s on thing I like about our guys. We keep grinding it out and finding ways.” – Head Coach John Madden
With about six minutes left in the game, the Monsters turned up the heat. They fired off even more shots than they did in the beginning of the third. Determined to the get a goal the Monsters were not going to slow down for one moment. Luck shone on the Monsters when Camper headed to the box for crosschecking with 2:06 left in the game. Twenty-seven seconds later Adam Clendening no look passed the puck to Letestu who wound up and one timed it into the net for the equalizer goal.
Neither team was able to make anything happen in the waning minutes of the game. The Monsters and Griffins headed to a rather short overtime.
A minute and a half into extra time Kevin Stenlund skated through the faceoff circle and fired the puck directly into the net for the win.
After the game, the Monsters hopped on the bus and began their trip towards Grand Rapids where they will take on the Griffins tomorrow at 7pm. With such a tight turnaround, there are only a few things a team can do to prepare for another win.
“We are gonna get some rest and we’ll talk about it. We’ll look at some video. Really there’s not much to change in our game.” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Kevin Stenlund (1g, 0a)
2nd – Mark Letestu (1g, 1a)
3rd – Nathan Gerbe (0g, 2a)