As the west coast road trip began, the Cleveland Monsters were without their top scorers and the bulk of their top six.
Alex Broadhurst, who leads the team in goals, assists, and points is currently with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Terry Broadhurst didn’t make the west coast trip and will likely not be seen the rest of the season. This is probably due to the fact T.Broadhurst is one game away from being considered a veteran. Zac Dalpe is sidelined for the rest of the season with a broken collar bone.
As you guys know by now, Carter Camper and Tyler Motte were traded away during this season’s trade deadline frenzy. Both Camper and Motte, provided scoring power during the duration of their stay with the Monsters.
Things got even worse for the top six when Nathan Gerbe left the game after the first period on Wednesday and didn’t return. When Friday’s game rolled around, Gerbe was on the inactive list.
Without all of their top scorers and finesse players, what were the Monsters to do?
Well, they decided to play some great hockey.
After Gerbe didn’t return for the second period of Wednesday’s game, the Monsters scored six unanswered goals against the Stockton Heat.
Five of those goals were scored in the second period.
Four were scored in the span of eight minutes and 27 seconds.
Three were scored by defenders.
Two were scored by the birthday boy, Jacob Graves.
One was Grant Besse’s first professional goal.
Zero was the amount of goals the Heat were able to score on Wednesday night.
The Monsters used the win over the Heat to power them through a tough game against the San Diego Gulls.
Despite losing 3-1, the Monsters played well. This was one of the first times they played as a cohesive unit.
Head Coach John Madden started the game by unleashing the trap. A style of play he should have been using all season. They abandoned the trap when the Gulls managed score two very preventable goals in the second period.
After a bit of a goal drought, Miles Koules was able to find the back of the net with a beauty of a top shelf snipe from between the blue line and the top of the left face off circle.
In an attempt to tie the game, Coach Madden pulled Zatkoff with 3:23 left to play in the third period.
The Gulls had three great looks on the empty net.
All three of them missed.
Two went an inch wide of the net.
One dinged off the post.
Goal Recap at Stockton Heat - 6-0 - Win
Despite their best efforts, both teams were unable to notch a goal during the first period of Wednesday’s game.
It wasn’t until almost two minutes into the second period that Jacob Graves would score from the point to put Cleveland on the board.
Once the scoring started, it didn’t stop.
Four more goals were scored in the span of eight minutes and 27 seconds.
Grant Besse scored his first professional goal 9:02 into the second period. Justin Scott fired off a shot from the point which bounced off the post. Besse descended upon the loose puck and slammed it home for the second goal of the night.
Twenty seven seconds later, Graves launched another puck from the point into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
With 4:34 left in the second period, Jordan Schroeder scooped up his own rebound to make it 4-0.
In the final minutes of the second period, the Monsters extended their lead over the Gulls to 5-0.
Miles Koules skated around the back of the net looking for a spot to place the puck. Upon spotting Cameron Gaunce, he launched the puck towards the blue line. Gaunce rushed towards the puck and slapshotted it into the net.
Scoring slowed down a bit for the Monsters as they scored only one goal in the third period.
Kevin Stenlund skated around three members of the Heat before passing the puck through the crease to Spencer Naas. David Rittich was out of place allowing Naas to fire the puck into net.
When the final horn sounded, Matiss Kivlenieks had rightfully earned a shutout.
Goal Recap at San Diego Gulls - 3-1 - Loss
Another scoreless first period was to be had on Friday night. This time the opponent was the San Diego Gulls.
Around three minutes into the second period, Mitch Hults put the Gulls on the board first. He sniped the puck into the net while skating backwards.
Three and half minutes later, Kalle Kossilla skated past Jacob Graves and backhanded the puck past Jeff Zatkoff to give the Gulls the 2-0 lead.
At the half way mark, Miles Koules launched a top shelf rocket into the net while Justin Scott was screening Boyle.
This was the lone Monsters goal of the evening but boy was it an absolute beaut.
The final goal of the night came with 7:33 to play in the second period when Keaton Thompson fired off a shot from the blue line.
Nathan Gerbe and Cameron Gaunce wore the “A” on Wednesday, March 28th. With Alex Broadhurst up in Columbus, Jordan Schroeder stepped into the role of alternate captain.
Gerbe left the game after the first period on Wednesday and did not return Friday night. Justin Scott donned the “A’ in place of Gerbe on Friday.
On Saturday, March 31st, the Monsters head to Ontario to take on the Reign at 9 pm et.
They have a few days off before heading to Iowa to take on the Wild on April 3rd at 8pm et.
The roadtrip ends in Milwaukee on April 4th at 8 pm et.