Cleveland Monsters at Belleville Senators
The Cleveland Monsters started their four-game road trip with back to back games against the Belleville Senators.
The Monsters kicked the first game of the series off with a bang. Three and a half minutes into the first period Nikita Korostelev redirected a pass from Sam Vigneault into the back of the net.
Even though the Monsters scored a quick goal, there was little to no chemistry between linemates. At one point, it looked like a bunch of little kids running around trying to figure out where to go. Luckily, the Senators looked the same way.
Christian Wolanin managed to tie things up, 1-1, with 7:36 left in the second period.
There was a constant back and forth between the Senators and Monsters during the third period and overtime. At one point, I wondered if the game would ever end.
Both teams were able to push the game into a shootout where both Korostelev and Letestu led the Monsters to victory.
Despite the lack of chemistry among players, the lines stayed the same for the second game.
The first period was a mess for the Monsters.
A little over two minutes into the game, the Senators scored off of a turnover. Dillon Simpson tried to pass the puck off to his teammates at the blue line. However, Simpson’s timing was incredibly bad, and he handed the puck off to Drake Batherson. From there, Batherson took off down the ice at top speed and fired it past Brad Thiessen.
This was only the beginning of the turnovers. The Monsters spent the rest of the first period trying to chase down pucks they just gave away. The chase made the team tired causing them to make even more mistakes.
With 15 seconds left in the opening stanza, Stefan Elliott received a pass from Jordan Murray. He moved to the right side of the crease and flipped the puck into the net. You could see on Doyle Somerby’s face that he knew what was coming. Yet, he just stayed put and watched goal happen.
The second period was a bit better for the Monsters. There were less turnovers and a goal was scored.
Ryan Collins cut the Senators lead in half, 2-1, after firing off a quick shot from the blue line 4:46 into the period.
However, the penalty kill during the second as not good and many of the players decided to play selfish hockey.
Three minutes into the third period the Senators extended their lead over the Monsters to 3-1.
Batherson made it 4-1 for the Senators with 7:50 left in the game. Brad Thiessen made two great saves before the third attempt went into the net.
Not long after this goal, Coach Madden sat Vitaly Abramov, Maxime Fortier, and Brett Gallant. The team seemed to flow a bit better with their new mixed up lines. This change led to the Monsters cutting the Senators lead in half, 4-2, with 4:30 left in the game.
Justin Scott posted himself in front of this crease. This allowed Doyle Somerby to backhand the puck to him from across the ice. Scott dropped down to one knee before slamming the puck into the net.
The Monsters saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, the end of the tunnel never came. The Senators left the second game of the weekend series as victors.
1st – Nikita Korostelev (1g, 0a)/ Drake Batherson (2g, 1a)
2nd – Christian Wolanin (1g, 0a)/ Marcus Hoberg (37 shots faced, 35 saves, 60:00 TOI)
3rd – Jean-Francois Berube (21 shots faced, 20 saves, 65:00 TOI)/ Filip Chlapik (1g, 1a)
The Monsters head to Utica to take on the Comets on Sunday, February 17th at 5pm.
The final game of the roadtrip takes place in Rochester against the Americans on Wednesday, February 20th at 7pm.
They return home Friday, February 22nd at 7pm against the Milwaukee Admirals.