Cleveland Monsters (2) at Toronto Marlies (3)
After arriving in Canada in the wee early hours of the morning, a sleepy Cleveland Monsters took on a well-rested Toronto Marlies last night. You could tell half the Monsters were exhausted from playing the past two nights in a row. The other half of the team was ready to go.
The Marlies struck first 1:55 into the game.
Steve Oleksy stole the puck from Ryan Collins along the boards. He quickly passed the puck over to Tom Sestito. Nikita Korostelev hit Sestito in hopes of preventing him from firing the puck. Unfortunately, Korostelev bounced off Sestito before he fired the puck to Josh Jooris who took off towards the net. Doyle Somerby desperately tried to catch up to Jooris before he fired the puck into the net.
With a little over seven minutes left in the period, the Marlies extended their lead to 2-0.
Adam Brooks accidentally passed the puck to Somerby. Instead of holding onto the puck, Somerby fumbled it and within a few moments it was back in Brooks’ possession. Once he had the puck back, Brooks quickly popped the puck into the net.
At this point in the game, Miles Koules started to turn on the burners and was flying. Koules made play after play but received no help from his linemates Ryan MacInnis and Korostelev.
Six minutes into the second period, Tanner MacMaster had a crazy breakaway. Gabriel Carlsson rushed after MacMaster tapping him in the leg. Then, Brett Gallant came busting in from the left side and tripped MacMaster causing him to fall and take the net off its moorings. The crowd hollered in excitement when the refs called a penalty shot. Their excitement died down rather quickly when Brad Thiessen stone cold denied him.
The blocked penalty shot made MacMaster hungry for a goal. Very hungry.
With 2:57 left in the second period, MacMaster extended the Marlies lead over the Monsters to 3-0. It came after a lost faceoff for the Monsters. The ever so quick Miles Koules rushed to get to MacMaster before he could fire off the shot. MacMaster saw him coming and launched the puck into the net before Koules could get there. Filled with frustration, Zac Dalpe broke his stick on the crossbar of the net.
When the third period rolled around all of the Monsters were awake and ready to go.
Adam Clendening launched a rocket of a shot from below the blue line to put the Monsters on the board 4:15 into the third period.
30 seconds after his goal, Clendening took a penalty. Luckily, the Monsters were pretty lively and dominated much of their time on the pk.
With 6:17 left in the game, Dalpe chipped the puck off the corner of the post into the net to put the Monsters within one of the Marlies.
The Monsters spent the rest of the game desperately trying to score. Unfortunately, Hutchinson pulled out all the stops to foil any shot attempt by the Monsters.
1st – Michael Hutchinson (36 shots faced, 34 saves, 59:47 TOI)
2nd – Tanner MacMaster (1g, 0a)
3rd – Jordan Subban (0g, 0a)
The Monsters head back home to Cleveland. They’ll take on the Belleville Senators in a back-to-back homestand on Thursday, March 7th and Friday, March 8th. Both games start at 7pm.