Cleveland Monsters (5) at Laval Rocket (4)
The Cleveland Monsters ended their five-game roadtrip with a win over the Laval Rocket. It took a four round shootout to make it happen.
A minute and a half into the game, the Monsters took an early lead thanks to a goal from Kole Sherwood.
Almost five minutes later, the Rocket struck back with their tying goal. From the circle, Byron Froese fed the puck to Alex Belzile who was alone near the crease. He slammed it home for the goal.
Tommy Cross and Ryan Collins missed their man which is why this goal happened.
The Monsters took the 2-1 lead with 3:15 to play in the first. Justin Scott fired the puck towards the net. Connor LaCouvee was able to stop the initial shot. However, Mark Letestu was settled in the crease and pushed the rebound past the goal line for the lead.
The second period played out very much like the first period. Both teams traded shots, hits, and goals.
With 5:50 left in the second, Xavier Ouellet tied the game at two with a one timer from the circle.
Three minutes later, Vitaly Abramov made it 3-2 off of a nice feed from Sam Vigneault.
The Monsters began to relax in the third period. Unfortunately they relaxed a bit too much causing the Rocket to score two goals in the last half of the period.
Dillon Simpson made a beautiful play throwing his body in front of a shot from Ouelette. Unfortunately, the puck bounced directly onto Daniel Audette’s stick who then crashed the net to tie the game at three with 7:48 to play.
A little over three minutes later, Ouellet launched a rocket towards the boards. Both Doyle Somerby and Simpson thought the play would be called dead for icing. They were wrong. The play wasn’t blown dead and the puck ended up on Alexandre Grenier’s stick. With no defense around to stop him, Grenier was able to fire the puck into the side of the net to give the Rocket the 4-3 lead over the Monsters.
With 3:09 to play in the game, Ryan Collins tied the game at four to earn his first AHL goal.
The Monsters tried just about everything to take the lead before the horn sounded on regulation. Despite a gangbusters effort at the end of the third, the Rocket and Monsters headed into overtime.
Overtime was crazy. It was a constant battle back and forth. To keep guys fresh during a fast paced overtime, the Monsters rolled out eight different lines. This allowed the players to be swift on their feet and quick with their shots. Despite only registering three shots on goal during overtime, the Monsters kept Connor LaCouvee on his toes with close calls and rushes to the net. The Rocket were able to do the same thing with Jean-Francois Berube who basically break danced his way through overtime.
If one goalie had faltered, the game would have ended in overtime. Alas, it did not end with a sudden death shot goal in a four round shootout.
Alex Broadhurst was the Monsters’ hero of the night scoring the game winning shootout goal.
1st – Vitaly Abramov (1g, 1a)
2nd – Jean-Francois Berube (36 saves, 40 shots faces, 65 :00 TOI)
3rd – Xavier Ouellet (1g, 2a)
The Monsters return home on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm to take on the Toronto Marlies. They take on the Chicago Wolves the next night.