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State of the Monsters Address: Tough Weekend at the Office

Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

The Cleveland Monsters had a rough homecoming weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse dropping both of their games to the Syracuse Crunch, 2-1 and 6-3.

Again, Head Coach Mike Eaves kept the same lines for both games. The Lines looked slightly different this weekend as Markus Hannikainen was called up to the Columbus Blue Jackets due to Josh Anderson’s injury.

First Line

Nathan Gerbe - Kevin Stenlund - Marko Dano

The first line brought even more aggression to this weekend’s set of games. They were at the forefront of every scuffle but one.

The best part was they refused to retaliate when it came to small things like slashes and trips.

Second Line

Eric Robinson - Zac Dalpe - Trey Fix-Wolansky

Eric Robinson couldn’t turn a shot into a goal to save his life this weekend. Once Robinson works out his accuracy issues, he should be fine.

Zac Dalpe fell into the trap of constantly passing the puck instead of shooting this weekend. He missed out on many prime chances to score goals. Also, Dalpe was slightly over aggressive and snapped a few times this weekend. It’s a little early in the season to fly off the handle on the opposition.

Trey Fix-Wolansky spent the weekend setting up amazing plays. He is a playmaker who needs to be on a line with a people who can finish the play.

Third Line

Sam Vigneault - Justin Scott - Stefan Matteau

Sam Vigneault had an incredible Friday followed by a horrible Saturday. On Friday, Vigneault’s was a rebound and shot redirecting machine. His phenomenal placement allowed him to redirect Adam Clendening’s shot into the net for a goal.

It was as though a completely different player took the ice on Saturday. He took multiple bad penalites which left the Monsters vulnerable. Vigneault also turned over a few pucks which led to scary shot attempts by the Crunch.

Justin Scott was a bit quiet this weekend. Although, he was not going to allow anyone to mess with his teammates. Like last season, Scott had to step in this weekend and pick up the slack when the defense inevitably fell down on the job.

Due to Hannikainen being sent up to the Jackets, Stefan Matteau entered the line up for the Monsters. He was able to get under the Crunch’s skin within minutes of puck drop on Friday. All weekend Matteau continued to frustrate the Crunch with his heavy hits and his intense rushes towards the nets. One of those rushes led to him scoring a goal in the first period of Saturday’s game.

Fourth Line

Calvin Thurkauf - Ryan MacInnis - Kole Sherwood

Calvin Thurkauf had another solid weekend for the Monsters. He forced multiple turnovers and set up a lot a lot of plays for both Ryan MacInnis and Kole Sherwood.

Ryan MacInnis continues to make me eat my words from last season. This weekend he found multiple openings to burst through which allowed him to set up some “A+” plays. The best play was the one he set in motion for Kole Sherwood’s first goal on Saturday.

Kole “Two-Goal Scorer” Sherwood had a superstar level weekend for the Monsters. Not only did he score two goals in Saturday’s game, Sherwood laid a lot of bone and board rattling hits along the boards. The Crunch were not pleased with him at all.

First Pairing

Gabriel Carlsson - Adam Clendening

Gabriel Carlsson played a very sneaky game of hockey which allowed him to set up multiple plays.

Adam Clendening was very vocal this weekend. Unfortunately, this caused the refs to pay even more attention to him than normal. So, the box and him became friends.

Second Pairing

Dillon Simpson - Andrew Peeke

Dillon Simpson did his best to be an extension of Matiss Kivlenieks and Veini Vehvilainen this weekend. Despite two players taking up 90% of the goal, the Crunch still managed to find ways to squeak pucks into the net.

Andrew Peeke spent the weekend using the boards to his advantage. The way he gets the puck to roll along the boards to a player on the other side of the ice is a thing of beauty.

Third Pairing

Doyle Somerby - Ryan Collins

Doyle Somerby and Ryan Collins had the worst weekend among the defenders. Their communication was completely off and led to a goal by the Crunch. They just couldn’t get anything good going.


Matiss Kivlenieks
Veini Vehvilainen

Matiss Kivlenieks didn’t see much action this weekend. The Monsters and Crunch spent most of their time in the neutral zone on Friday night. The two goals that went past him were at no fault of his own.

It was hard to judge how Veini Vehvilainen did on Saturday as he was hung out to dry by most of his teammates.

Special Teams Units

Power Play

The power play struggled a bit this weekend. They ended up falling back into the trap of last season where they constantly passed the puck.

“We didn’t put pucks in the net. We didn’t execute. It was just a tough night at the office” - Head Coach Mike Eaves

Penalty Kill

The Monsters didn’t spend a lot of time on the penalty kill this weekend. When they were on the pk they looked sharp and communicated well together.

Coverage of the Monsters vs Crunch series

Energetic Cleveland Monsters fall short of a win over Syracuse Crunch

Cleveland Monsters lose battle of goals to Syracuse Crunch

Monsters lose home opener to Syracuse, 2-1 by Jeff Schudel

Sloppy Monsters crunched by Syracuse again, 6-3 by Jeff Schudel

Cleveland Monsters Fall in Energetic Home Opener by Deana Weinheimer of

Wish of “More Goals” Fails Cleveland Monsters in Loss by Deana Weinheimer of