Cleveland Monsters (2) at San Jose Barracuda (6)
Going into last night’s game the Cleveland Monsters were looking to do something they have yet to do all season; win three games in a row. Last night should have been a fairly easy win for the Monsters. They’ve been flying high since beating Tucson last weekend. Especially since their special teams were a lot better than San Jose’s going into the name.
The Barracuda had other plans. They started the game out slow and a bit sloppy. By the time the third period rolled around they were firing on all cylinders. When the final horn sounded, the Barracuda scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Monsters, 6-2.
Three of the Barracuda’s six goals were scored by John McCarthy.
Cleveland kicked the scoring off 4:47 into the game. After a quick battle along the boards, Jordan Schroeder skated the puck around the back of the net. He fired the puck from below the goal line to Nathan Gerbe who was between the hashmarks on his knees. Gerbe one-timed the puck off of the right post into the net.
Near the halfway point o the first period the Barracuda tied the game at one.
Jacob Middleton passed the puck to Brand Mashinter who was open a the top of the crease. As Ryan Collins and Scott Savage came in to break up the play, Mashinter tossed the puck to Adam Helewka. From just below the left faceoff circle, Helewka popped the puck into the net behind Matiss Kivlenieks.
With 7:50 to play in the first period, the Barracuda extended their lead over the Monsters to 2-1.
While going for a loose puck, Ryan Collins was smashed into the boards by Caleb Herbert. The puck flew towards John McCarthy who immediately fired it across the ice to Julius Bergman. Instead of launching the puck through traffic from the blue line, Bergman passed the puck to Rourke Chartier who was open at the right faceoff dot. By the time the puck reached Chartier, McCarthy was already posted in front of the net. He quickly passed the puck to McCarthy who pushed it between Kivlenieks’ five-hole and into the net.
The Monsters tied the game 41 seconds later.
Brady Austin launched a heavy handed shot towards the net. Antoine Bibeau made a spectacular save. However, Justin Scott was lurking nearby and was able to slam the rebound home for the equalizer goal.
At the end of the first period, momentum was in the Monsters’ favor. This didn’t last long as the Barracuda scored the only goal in the second 3:28 into the period courtesy of McCarthy.
The only goal scored in the second was scored 3:28 into the period courtesy of McCarthy. passed the puck to McCarthy who fired it past Kivlenieks’ who was caught offguard.
Despite firing off 13 shots in the second period, the Monsters were unable to score a goal before the horn sounded. They went into the lockerroom looking for a way to put a chink in the Barracuda’s armor.
Unfortunately, for the Monsters, the Barracuda came out with a fire in their bellies and scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
San Jose extended their lead, 4-2, over the Monsters 4:40 into the third.
McCarthy stole the puck from Brady Austin and fired it towards Balcers. From between the hashmarks, Balcers one-timed the puck into the back of the Monsters’ net.
Not even a minute later, the Barracuda scored their fifth goal of the night.
Sam Warning outskated Cameron Gaunce before passing the puck to Mashinter from below the blue line. Mashinter banged the puck in from the top of the crease.
Leading up to this moment, Hayden Hodgson desperately tried to keep Mashinter from barreling towards the net. Once he got going there was no way Hodgson was going to stop Mashinter.
With 5:02 left in the game, the Barracuda scored their sixth and final goal of the night.
Zach Frye fired a rocket of a shot from the blue line. McCarthy batted it out of the air which allowed it to bounce into the net behind Kivlenieks.
The Monsters would not walk away from this one as victors.
But Wait! There’s More
1st – John McCarthy (3g,1a)
2nd – Rudolfs Balcers (1g,1a)
3rd – Brandon Mashinter (1g,1a)
Alex Broadhurst, Nathan Gerbe, and Zac Dalpe all continued to wear the “A” on their chest.
John McCarthy earned his first professional hattie last night.
The Monsters and Barracuda meet again on Saturday, March 10th at 8 pm.
Then they take on the Stockon Heat on March 11th.
On March 13th, they head to the Ontario to take on the Reign.
They finally leave California on March 16th but only to head to Texas where they will play the Stars.
The trip finally ends on St. Patricks day against the San Antonio Rampage.