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Cleveland Monsters teamwork makes the dream work in shutout win over Rockford IceHogs

The Cleveland Monsters worked together to shutout the Rockford IceHogs, 5-0.

Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Rockford IceHogs (0) at Cleveland Monsters (5)

The Cleveland Monsters and Rockford IceHogs met for an afternoon romp. Despite the tight turnaround from last night’s game, the Monsters started the game with a lot of energy and never slowed down. Once again, the Monsters went wild and scored a barrage of goals. Five goals over the course of a period and a half took the wind out of the IceHogs' sails.

“Early we were able to score and take some of their spirit away from them. That carried us through the game” - Head Coach Mike Eaves

The first goal of the night came courtesy of Ryan Collins 8:43 into the game. Zac Dalpe was being pressured by Anton Wedin. Instead of continuing to wrestle with Wedin and possibly cough up the puck, Dalpe tossed it over to Collins who sniped it into the net under Matt Tomkins arm.

This was a big goal for Collins as he was scratched last night and was itching to play.

“Ryan jumps in there gets a beautiful goal. That’s a goal in a lot of leagues. I’m sure that helps give him the confidence that these young people need.” - Head Coach Mike Eaves

With 3:34 left in the first, Ryan MacInnis extended the Monsters lead over the IceHogs to 2-0. MacInnis worked hard to get around Lucas Carlsson before he poked the puck through the tiny opening in Tomkins’ five-hole.

MacInnis took little credit over his phenomal goal during post game presser stating, “Just a good bounce off the d there. Was just kind of patient there and just put the puck in the net.” Talk about humble.

It took the Monsters 39 seconds to score in the second period. Marko Dano picked up an unattended puck from behind the net and slung it over to Andrew Peeke. From the left faceoff dot, Peeke slammed it home for the goal.

Just like last night, Jasen Sokol couldn’t finish announcing the goal before the Monsters scored another one. This time it was Eric Robinson who foiled Sokol’s attempt at finishing an announcement when he one-timed the puck into the net.

The Monsters made it 5-0 with 12:10 left in the second period. Peeke set Nathan Gerbe up with a beautiful pass while Doyle Somerby screened Tomkins. The moment Gerbe launched the puck down the wide open slot Somerby stood still to block Tomkins’ view.

As I said in the beginning, the quick goals took the wind out of the IceHogs sails. Despite their best efforts, the IceHogs could not muster enough energy to create a come back. In the end, the Monsters were too much for them to handle and Veini Vehvilainen was able to earn his first North American professional shutout.

When talking about his shutout during post game presser, Vehvilainen made sure to acknowledge the goal scorers on the team.

“Of course guys (teammates) were very good to score goals today and yesterday. So it made my job a little bit easier.” - Veini Vehvilainen

His comments really highlight the fact that when each position does their job it makes it exponentially easier for the other positions to produce.

Before I let you go for the night, it’s imperative you know the Monsters broke a franchise record this weekend. The 12 unanswered goals scored this weekend is the most in franchise history. During the 2008-09 season, they had 11 unanswered goals.

Four of the Monsters goals were either scored or assisted by MacInnis. Yet again, MacInnis provided a humble answer about how great teamwork allowed him to have such a successful weekend.

“Every one was going. All four lines. The power play was going. So, when everyone is contributing it’s pretty easy to do that. “ - Ryan MacInnis

3 Stars

1st - Veini Vehvilainen (Cleveland Monsters) - 29 saves, 29 shots faced, 60:00 TOI, SHUTOUT
2nd - Andrew Peeke (Cleveland Monsters) - 1g, 1a
3rd - Nathan Gerbe (Cleveland Monsters) - 1g, 1a

Monsters Lines

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

Monsters Pairs

Carlsson - Peeke
Simpson - Collins
Somerby - A. Karlsson