Utica Comets (5) at Cleveland Monsters (1)
Head Coach John Madden was back in action for today’s Cleveland Monsters vs Utica Comets game. He was gone for a few days due to his son, Tyler, playing for Team USA in the World Juniors Championship.
“Overall I was eager to get back. I was phoning in trying to figure out what was going on and how was practice going. It was pretty easy for me.” – Head Coach John Madden
Despite having their coach back, the Monsters were unable to get the energy going they needed to allow them to win today.
A little over six minutes into the game, the Comets were on the board first. Kole Lind fired a shot from the wall behind the net to Cam Darcy who dropped to one knee while firing the puck.
A few minutes later, Kole Sherwood collided with Zack MacEwen at center ice. Sherwood was trying to avoid the collision. So, he turned his back and attempted to jump out of the way. Instead of getting out of the way, Sherwood hit MacEwen in the head knocking him to the ground.
Since he hit MacEwen in the head, Sherwood was booted from the game and the Monsters had five minutes of time to kill.
During this kill, the Monsters employed a lot of different units. Pretty much everyone on the team had ice-time while down a man.
“We use a lot of penalty killers regardless. You know rolling them over and trying to keep everybody into the game because five minutes of sitting on the bench is a long time. I think we had a great kill. They only had one shot on it. Then, the rebound goal.” – Head Coach John Madden
Like Madden said, there was a goal that happened on the power play.
Reid Boucher fired the initial shot at Thiessen who promptly blocked the puck. Brendan Gaunce picked it up and sauced it across the crease to Tanner Kero. At this point, Justin Wade went after the puck instead of continuing to seal up the opening in the crease. This allowed Kero to fire the puck into the net.
The second period of today’s game was much better than the second period of yesterday’s game.
The Monsters scored their first and only goal 4:46 into the second.
Nathan Gerbe dropped a pass back to Alex Broadhurst who fired it to Justin Scott. From below the goal line, Scott tossed the puck to Zac Dalpe who dropped to a knee while firing it down the slot and into the net.
Not even two minutes later, the Comets struck again making it 3-1. Vincent Arseneau went one-on-one with Brad Thiessen. Arseneau fired the puck and it bounced off of Thiessen’s arm into the net.
The second period ended with the Monsters trailing the Comets, 3-1. However, the Monsters had all the momentum heading into the third. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the Comets took the momentum back.
Two and half minutes into the third period, the Comets extended their lead to 4-1 thanks to a well-placed shot by Kero. It squeaked past Thiessen’s skate.
Kole Lind took a holding penalty with 5:24 left in the game. This was the chance the Monsters were looking for to create some momentum. About halfway through the penalty, Coach Madden raised his finger and gestured for Thiessen to leave the ice. Thiessen took off towards the bench leaving the net unattended. As time wound down on the penalty, Reid Boucher raced down the ice with the puck and fired it from behind the net towards the crease. Kero and the puck met in the crease before he popped it into the net for the Comets’ fifth goal of the game.
There was no way the Monsters were going to be able to get this game back. When the horn blew, the Comets completed a weekend sweep of the Monsters.
Up next for the Monsters is a two week road trip where they will play five games against four different teams. The Monsters aren’t too worried about hitting the road for a few weeks. They have a road record of 9-5-1-1.
“The reason why we play really well on the road is because we simplify are game. We don’t overhandle pucks, we play pretty simple but it seems like when we get home it’s showtime. Scene passes. Plays that aren’t there we make up, trying to be cute with play. I enjoy going on the road.” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Tanner Kero (3g, 0a)
2nd – Ivan Kulbakov (41 shots faced, 40 saves, 60:00 TOI)
3rd – Reid Boucher (0g, 2a)
*the lines changed up a bit after Sherwood was ejected for a “Check to the Head” match penalty.
The Monsters head out on the road for a few weeks.
January 9th @ Belleville Senators – 7pm
January 11th @ Syracuse Crunch – 7 pm
January 12th @ Binghamton Devils – 7:05 pm
January 18th @ Laval Rocket – 7:30 pm
January 19th @ Laval Rocket – 3pm