clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cleveland Monsters : November 2019 in Review

New, comments
Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

At the end of October, the Cleveland Monsters rode a five-game win streak into the month of November. After the win-streak ended, the Monsters started a losing streak that lasted for the same amount of time.

By the end of the month, the Monsters posted a record of 6-6-1-0.

Top Goal Scorers

The Monsters started November out strong scoring 12 goals over the course of the first three games of the month. The next five games brought them only seven goals.

Cleveland had 23 different goal scorers in the month of November. Typically prolific goal scorers like Zac Dalpe and Nathan Gerbe tend to lead the team in that category. In November it was defenders Andrew Peeke (5) and Adam Clendening (4) who led the way for the Monsters.

Peeke is also the third point scorer on the team with seven. He has handled the challenge of playing professional hockey after juniors with ease by being a quick and sharp minded defender who plays both sides of the puck.

Clendening's goals always seem to kick start something for the Monsters. Sometimes it opens up a scoring frenzy. Other times it causes the team to wake up, lay hits, and pepper the opposing netminder with shots.

Top Assists

Ryan MacInnis led the Monsters in assists with seven and was second on the team with eight points. When a spot opened up on the second line, MacInnis' ability to quarterback plays and win faceoffs led him to be bumped up from the fourth line.

Nathan Gerbe, Gabriel Carlsson, and Marko Dano sit in second for the month of November with six assists each.

Gerbe is having himself another spectacular season. He continues to use his height to his advantage and fly under the radar until he sees a play form. Gerbe also sits at the top of the leaderboards in points for November with nine.

The highlight of Gerbe’s November came in the form of a game winning overtime penalty shot on November 1st. No one can deny the fact that Gerbe is the master of the shootout and going one-on-one with goalies.

Dano just came off a six-game point streak where he the bulk of his eight points were assists (2g, 6a). His eight points also places him second on the team for points in November. Before kicking off his point streak, Dano's aggressive style of play led him to earn over 40 pims. He currently leads the league and the Monsters with 55 pims for the 2019-20 season. Once Dano settled down and focused more on the game, he became an asset to the team. Instead of getting in fights Dano is composing a symphony of plays which have helped propel the Monsters to many wins.

Special Teams

The Monsters power play struggled a bit in the month of November as they went 3 for 51. However, they were able to score two power play goals in their loss to the number one penalty kill in the AHL, the Charlotte Checkers, on November 27th.

On the flip side of things, their penalty kill scored six goals and went 42 for 48 propelling them into the second spot in the league. The highlight of the kill came on November 6th when they scored three shorthanded goals against the Grand Rapids Griffins to win 5-3.

Netminders

In six games for the Monsters in November, Veini Vehvilainen allowed 12 goals on 140 shots. He also earned his first shutout on November 22nd against the Chicago Wolves. Vehvilainen’s confidence allows him to play a much calmer game than most goalies. When a mistake is made, he tries to fix it before the next shot comes his way.

Matiss Kivlenieks allowed 15 goals on the 136 shots he faced over the course of five games. Twice Kivlenieks received the call up to the Columbus Blue Jackets while Merzlikins shook the rust off his skates in Cleveland. Both times he was sent back, Kivlenieks struggled to perform. His confidence wasn’t there causing a few soft goals to be scored. During the 5-2 loss against the Charlotte Checkers on November 26, Kivlenieks seemed slightly lethargic. I’m guessing this was due to the fact he arrived in Charlotte that morning.

Elvis Merzlikins wore the Cleveland sweater twice in November. On November 26, 2019, Merlikins wons his first professional game in North America with a 3-1 victory over the reigning Calder Cup Champions, the Charlotte Checkers. While playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ farm team, Merzlikins stopped 56 of the 59 shots he faced, posted a record of 1-1-0-0, and allowed only three goals. Merzlikins seemed very comfortable with the Monsters’ defense. They communicated well together and it seemed as though they all knew what the other needed to do to make the game easier for each player.