Cleveland Monsters (3) at Chicago Wolves (2)
Going into las night’s game, the Cleveland Monsters knew it was imperative to take down the Chicago Wolves to keep their playoff dreams alive. The race in the North is tight right now but just about any team going on a win-streak could throw the Monsters down the standings.
The Monsters and Wolves kept each other from scoring for the bulk of the first period. There were a few dicey moments for the Monsters after Kole Sherwood took two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game. Thanks to a few lucky bounces, good defense, and wide shots the Monsters were able to hold the Wolves off during the man disadvantage.
With 11 second left in the first period, T.J. Tynan opened the scoring for the game. It was quite the beautiful sequence by the Wolves. Upon entering the Wolves offensive zone, Tynan passed the puck off to Stefan Matteau. Tynan skated up the middle of the ice with Matteau almost perfectly parallel to him. Seeing he was still open, Matteau passed the puck off to Tynan. Then, Matteau wound up to prepare for a one-timer when the puck came back his way. Jean-Francois Berube and the rest of the Monsters moved their attention towards stopping Matteau. Out of nowhere Brooks Macek skated in to receive the pass and tapped right back to Tynan. Since everyone was focused on Matteau, Tynan was able to fire the puck into the net.
Sherwood made up for his first period transgressions by scoring two, almost three, goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period.
Ten seconds into the second, Sherwood scored his first goal of the period from the top of the left faceoff circle.
It all started with a faceoff win from Zac Dalpe. Sherwood rushed after the faceoff puck and quickly pushed it over to Ryan Collins. Matteau applied an impressive amount of pressure on Collins in an attempt to get him to turn the puck over. Instead, Collins was able to fire it down the boards to Dalpe who launched the puck across the ice to Sherwood.
Not even a full seven minutes later, Sherwood gave the Monsters the 2-1 lead over the Wolves. Doyle Somerby launched a rocket from near the blue line that Maxime Lagace quickly stopped. Derek Barach tried to fire the rebound around Lagace’s skate. Lagace quickly stuck his toe out and kicked the puck to Sherwood who slammed it into the net for the goal.
Almost ten minutes into the period, Tommy Cross fired a shot through traffic which clipped Sherwood’s stick before flying into the net. The goal was given to Cross. It wasn’t a hattrick for Sherwood, but it did give the Monsters the extra push to finish this game out strong.
With 1:35 left in the second, the Wolves were able to get within one of the Monsters, 3-2. Dylan Coghlan made this happen with a one-timer from the blue line.
From here on out, the Monsters and Wolves kicked it into high gear. Neither one was going to let the other score.
When the final horn blew, the Monsters came away with two much needed points keeping their playoff hopes alive.
With both the Utica Comets and Belleville Senators losing in extra time last night, the Monsters win over the Wolves keeps them in the race for playoffs. On Saturday, if the Senators and Comets lose in regulation, a win from the Monsters will put them one point out of the playoffs.
Looks like the rest of season is going to be a crazy one for the North division.
1st – Kole Sherwood (2g, 0a)
2nd – T.J. Tynan (1g, 1a)
3rd – Derek Barach (0g, 2a)
The Monsters head to Rockford to take on the IceHogs at 7pm est.