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Cleveland Monsters fall to Toronto Marlies in six round shootout

Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Cleveland Monsters (5) at Toronto Marlies (6) - Shootout

The Cleveland Monsters and Toronto Marlies put on a show for the fans at the Coca Cola Coliseum this afternoon. They were treated with back and forth goals, overtime, and a shootout. Plus, unlike Saturday’s game, both teams were full of energy.

Zac Dalpe kicked off the scoring 5:44 into the game when he redirected a pass from Eric Robinson into the net.

Not even a full 30 seconds later, the refs called an incredibly weak holding call on Paul Bittner to give the Monsters their first penalty kill of the night. This kill featured a few too many close calls from the Marlies. Matiss Kivlenieks shone bright as he knocked away any shot that headed towards the net.

The Monsters had their shot on the power play after Hudson Elynuik took a tripping penalty with 8:47 left in the first period. It was quite the short power play as Justin Scott redirected Andrew Peeke’s shot just 16 seconds into the man advantage.

A quick 2-0 lead swung momentum in the Monsters favor. Especially for the fourth line and third pairing. Bittner, Calvin Thurkauf, Ryan MacInnis, Gabriel Carlsson, and Adam Clendening grinded hard and communicated very well to set up multiple dreamy plays.

Momentum is like a pendulum. Eventually it has to swing the other way.

With 2:05 left in the period, Kole Sherwood grew tired of the Marlies clogging up his scoring lane and crosschecked one to the ground. The refs were not impressed with this move and sent Sherwood to the box.

It wasn’t long before Rasmus Sandin cut the Monsters lead in half, 2-1,with a bomb from the point. The shot was hard and fast. No one was going to be able to stop that shot from entering the net.

The Marlies tied the game at two with 46 seconds left in the first period. Stefan Matteau lost the faceoff when he pushed the puck towards Pontus Aberg. Before anyone could register what happened, Aberg scooped up the puck and sniped it from the top of the right circle into the net.

Two minutes into second period Robinson laid an unnecessary hit along the boards and headed to the box. The penalty didn’t stop the Monsters from creating shot attempts. One of which turned into their third goal of the night. About a minute into the kill, Sam Vigneault capatalized on a fumble Marlies play when he scooped up the errant puck and sailed down the ice unattended. As Vigneault neared Joseph Woll, he launched the puck into the net.

Just as quickly as a lead came, the lead went away.

Tanner MacMaster had a two-on-one partial breakaway 4:37 into the second period. Gabriel Carlsson quickly threw his body on the ice in an attempt to stop the impending shot. MacMaster saw the play take form and shot the puck high instead of along the ice.

The Monsters were able to regain the lead, 4-3, with 13:43 left in the second. Dalpe swiveled in the faceoff circle and attempted to fire off a shot. Kole Sherwood rushed to the shot gone wrong and slammed it home for the goal. This is why Sherwood camped out on the doorstep the past few nights. He was just waiting for his chance to bite into a juicy rebound.

Keeping up with the theme of the game, the Marlies tied things up, 4-4, with 7:58 left in the second. Kenny Agostino banked a shot from below the goal line off of Ryan Collins’ back into the net. It was one of the weirdest goals. I don’t think anyone knew Agostino still had the puck. At one point it looked like he tossed it in front of the net to one of the Marlies. This would explain why Collins had his back completely turned at the top of the crease.

The two teams fought hard to take the lead again but neither team would budge on letting a goal into the net. Even forwards, like Dalpe and Robinson, threw their bodies in front of pucks.

The second period ended with both teams tied at four and the Monsters on the power play.

Woll was peppered with shots the first minute and a half of the third period. It’s incredible to think the Monsters were unable to score on the power play despite the fact the puck remained in the offensive zone the whole time.

With 7:58 left in the third, the Monsters scored their second power play goal of the night. A collision between Matteau and Elyniuk allowed Scott to rush towards the net and fire the puck top shelf for the 5-4 lead over the Marlies.

A minute and a half later, Garrett Wilson tied the game at five for the Marlies.

Intensity heated up as both teams wanted to wrap this game in regulation. Despite the intensity, Kivlenieks and Woll stood tall. Overtime was imminent.

Since three penalties were doled out in the final 1:45 of regulation, overtime start with a 4-on-3 advantage for the Marlies. Then, went to 4-on-4. Eventually the typical 3-on-3 makeup of overtime was played.

In the end, the game had to be decided in a six round shootout where the Marlies came out on top.

It was a hard fought battle. The Monsters should be proud they were able to walk away with a point from the undefeated Marlies.

3 Stars

1st - Pierre Engvall (Toronto Marlies) - 0g, 2a
2nd - Rasmus Sandin (Toronto Marlies) - 1g, 1a
3rd - Justin Scott (Cleveland Monsters) - 2g, 0a

Monsters Lines

Gerbe - Stenlund - Matteau
Robinson - Dalpe - Hannikainen
Vigneault - Scott - Sherwood
Thurkauf - MacInnis - Bittner

Monsters Pairs

Carlsson - Clendening
Simpson - Peeke
Karlsson - Collins

What’s Next

The Monsters head home to play the Rockford IceHogs on Friday (Oct 25th, 7pm) and Saturday (Oct 26th, 1pm)