Cleveland Monsters at Charlotte Checkers
The Cleveland Monsters took on the Charlotte Checkers in a midweek back-to-back series. Heading into the series, the Monsters were struggling to put together a decent win to help them climb the leader board. On the other side of things, the Checkers are first in the league and it doesn’t look like they will be going anywhere anytime soon.
How sweet would it have been if they swept the first place team in the league?
Well, it was a half sweet experience for the Monsters.
Tuesday’s game was a bit of a mess. Almost immediately, Matiss Kivlenieks’ had to bring out the highlight reel style saves. The Checkers maintained control for the bulk of the game and were able to capitalize on every minute mistake the Monsters made.
By the end of the second period, the Checkers led the Monsters, 3-0. Two of those goals were due to turnovers by Vitaly Abramov. The first goal was due to a giveaway along the boards. While the third goal was passed directly to Roland McKeown who set up Morgan Geekie for the snipe from the top of the faceoff circle.
The Monsters got things going with a goal 6:42 into the third period. Alex Broadhurst passed the puck down the faceoff circle to Paul Bittner who quickly passed it off to Dan DeSalvo. From the crease, DeSalvo fired he puck towards the net. It banged off the post and onto Bittner’s stick. With no hesitation, Bittner fired the puck into the net.
The Monsters tried to heat things up but the Checkers were there to smother them every step of the way. In the end, the Monsters fell to the Checkers, 3-1.
Despite playing badly multiple games in a row, the lines stayed the same for Wednesday night’s game. It worked as the Monsters managed to score five goals against the veteran netminder Scott Darling.
The first period was a battle of wits between the Checkers and Monsters. No one was able to outsmart the other which resulted in a zero-zero tie at the end of the first.
Kole Sherwood kicked things off for the Monsters 1:42 into the second with a snipe from the left faceoff circle. You knew Sherwood meant business because he wound up before dropping to a knee to fire the puck into the net.
A little under five minutes later, Justin Scott extended the Monsters lead of the Checkers to 2-0. It was a beautiful shot right down the slot.
With 10:56 to play in the second, Michael Prapavessis turned the puck over allowing Nick Schilkey to cut the Monsters lead in half.
Doyle Somerby made it 3-1 a little over two minutes into the third period. Ryan MacInnis, Nikita Korostelev, and Somerby attacked the net like mad men to make this happen.
Twenty-nine seconds later, Ryan MacInnis extended their lead to 4-1 with an incredible snipe from below the blue line.
Eric Robinson laid the final blow after scooping up Justin Scott’s rebound with a little over 10 to play.
By the time the horn blew, the Monsters had beaten the first place Checkers, 5-1. It was the perfect end to a rather tumultuous road trip.
1st – Morgan Geekie (1g,1a)/ Ryan MacInnis (1g, 1a)
2nd – Roland McKeown (0g, 1a)/ Jean-Francois Berube (41 shots faced, 40 saves, 60:00 TOI)
3rd – Aleksi Saarela (1g, 0a)/ Justin Scott (1g,1a)
The Monsters come home for a weekend series against the Binghamton Devils on Saturday, February 9th at 7pm and Sunday, February 10th at 3pm. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on SportsTime Ohio.