Cleveland Monsters (0) at San Antonio Rampage (4)
Things did not go as planned for the Cleveland Monsters tonight. They came out strong and kept the puck in the San Antonio Rampage’s defensive zone for the bulk of the first three and half minutes of the game. Shortly after, they began to fall faly and the San Antonio Rampage capitalized on it.
The Rampage would hold the upper hand for the majority of the game shutting out the Monsters, 4-0.
Almost nine minutes into the first period, Tommy Vannelli set up A.J. Greer from behind the net. Jeff Zatkoff was able to stop Greer’s initial shot. However, Greer scooped up his own rebound and fired it home for the first goal of the night.
The second period was a bit of a mess for the Monsters as the Rampage scored three power play goals. A power play goal or two was bound to happen. The Monsters spent literally half of the period on the penalty kill.
Six minutes and 33 seconds into the second period, Andrew Agozzino, extended the Rampage’s lead to 2.
Agozzino kicked off the passing sequence when he noticed Chris Butler alone at the blue line. Butler quickly passed the puck to Michael Joly who was unattended at the right faceoff dot. Joly could have shot the puck through traffic toward Zatkoff. Instead, he opted to send it to Agozzino who was camped out at the top of the left faceoff circle. He wound up and launched the puck into the net.
A minute later, the Rampage took the 3-0 lead over the Monsters.
Butler fired the puck directly into Zatkoff’s pads. A scramble in front of the net quickly ensued leaving Zatkoff a hair out of place. Alex Belzile was able to knock the puck into the net from below the goal line.
The fourth and final goal of the evening came with 1:12 to play in the second period.
Samuel Blais skated around the back of the net. He centered the puck to Joly who dropped to his knees to score.
But Wait! There’s More
- Miles Koules was great along the boards this evening. Instead of using his stick to try and get the puck off of the board, he body checked the opponent who would then fumble the puck.
- The past two games, there has been at least one person on the ice at all times who looks completely lost. You would think at this point in the season everyone would know where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.
- STUPID PENALTIES KILLED THE MONSTERS.
- Kale Kessy played a more disciplined game today. Unfortunately, Kessy didn’t play with the same amount of energy and aggression as he normally does. Once he figures out how to equally balance the two, Kessy will be a dream to have on the ice.
- It might be time to remove Justin Scott from the first line. On Friday’s game he notched zero points. While his linemates, Terry and Alex Broadhurst, combined for one goal and four assists. When you are on a line with the top two point scorers having zero points is really not an option. Tonight, he was in the box three separate times. This allowed the Rampage to score two of their four goals. These were unnecessary penalties.
- “Who would you suggest to replace Scott on the first line,” you ask. Honestly, I am not 100% sure. The Monsters are not lush with centers. A possible switch could be to move Alex Broadhurst to center and have a few different wingers play alongside the brothers for the rest of the season.
1st – Michael Joly (1g, 2a)
2nd – Joe Cannata (19 shots faced, 19 saves, 59:54 TOI)
3rd – Alex Belzile (1g, 1a)
Alex Broadhurst, Cameron Gaunce, and Nathan Gerbe wore the “A” tonight.
This was Joe Cannata’s third career shutout.
Andrew Agozzino’s power play goal in the second period was the first power play goal scored by the Rampage at home since February 2nd, 2018.
The boys FINALLY return home on Tuesday, March 20th at 7 pm to take on the Chicago Wolves. They play four games in six days before heading back out West again.