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Despite best effort, Monsters fall to the Marlies in overtime

Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland

Cleveland Monsters (3) at Toronto Marlies (4) - Overtime

The Cleveland Monsters headed into last night’s game looking for a much-needed win against the Toronto Marlies. They knew it was going to be a challenge from a defense standpoint due to Doyle Somerby’s suspension for an elbow to the head on Wednesday’s game. With not much to choose from, the Monsters had to go with young defender Justin Wade to replace Somerby. Pairing him with Gabriel Carlsson was a smart move as they communicated quite well and were able to break up many dangerous plays. Another addition to the lineup was Trey Fix-Wolansky who subbed in for Kole Sherwood on the third line.

Wolansky showed a lot of promise in his professional debut. One thing to note, is his ballsy style of play when it comes to battling for the puck against someone who is over a foot taller.

“He was good. Really good. I was really impressed.” – Head Coach John Madden on Trey Fix-Wolansky

Even with fresh legs and new pairing, the Monsters had a bit of a rough start to the game. The Marlies scored a power play goal (7:42) and an even strength goal (9:30) within two minutes of each other.

Dillon Simpson left Chris Mueller wide open near the left side of the net 7:42 into the first period. Brad Thiessen was prepared for a shot from Jeremy Bracco on the right side. So, he sealed the gap between him and the post. Bracco launched the puck over Simpson stick to Mueller who was able to slap it into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Around two minutes later, Joseph Duszak extended the Marlies lead over the Monsters to 2-0. Yet again, Thiessen was prepared for a shot from the left side of the net leaving the right side wide open. Garret Cockerill did not seal the gap allowing Duszak to pop the puck into the net.

At this point in the game, the forwards began to play a more defensive game to help clear lanes.

With 2:02 left in the first, Sonny Milano put the Monsters on the board. Initially Simpson was going in for the goal. When he realized Kasimir Kaskisuo saw him coming, the puck was passed through the crease to Milano who fired it home for the goal.

At the end of the first period, the Monsters were trailing the Marlies, 2-1. However, they were leading the shot count 13-2. Looking at this stat, you can’t say they weren’t trying to put biscuits in the basket.

The second period began with the Monsters making a lot of big plays which, unfortunately, did not turn into goals. Both Dan DeSalvo and Wolansky used their small yet strong statures to their benefit. As the period wore on, you could see they were getting under the skin of the Marlies.

A little over three minutes into the second period, DeSavo took off down the ice before launching the puck from the top of the faceoff circle to tie the game at two.

Around a minute later, the Monsters went on their first power play of the game. The team is known for employing the pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-maybe shoot play on the power play. On this power play, they opted to rush the net and pepper Kaskisuo with shots. None of them went in but it was nice to see the Monsters switch things up a bit.

With 8:06 left in the second, the Monsters headed to their second penalty kill. This one was leaps and bounds better than the first. For starters, the Marlies were unable to score.

“We handled it well. To be honest with you, the goal they scored, Simmer (Dillon Simpson) was there. It went over his stick and right to their guy. So we did a good job. Thiessen made some saves for us and I thought we handled it really well. Hopefully, moving forward that continues.” – Head Coach John Madden

Egor Korshkov broke the 2-2 tie with 1:37 left in the second. He sped down the ice before firing a shot through Thiessens’ five-hole. Immediately, the crowd went insane because they have been waiting for this moment since being drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Korshkov’s goal powered the Marlies to finish out the rest of the second period strong.

Forty seconds into the third period, Ryan Collins picked up a rebound and awkwardly shot it over Kaskisuo’s pad to tie the game at three.

The Monsters turned up the heat for the rest of the third but couldn’t convert plays into goals. Overtime was imminent.

The Marlies locked up the game 1:13 into overtime to give the Monsters their second loss of the series.

Despite the loss, the Monsters play on Friday was slightly better than Wednesday.

“Oh I thought they were trying to keep up with us. That’s the type of game you have to play. We got away from it in the second period, gave them a couple chances but we had it for most of the night and that’s good.”- Head Coach John Madden

3 Stars

1st – Michael Carcone (1g, 0a)

2ndDmytro Timashov (0g, 2a)

3rd – Sonny Milano (1g, 2a)

Game Stats

Monsters Lines

MacInnis-Dalpe-Foudy
Milano-Letestu-DeSalvo
Broadhurst-Barach-Fix-Wolansky
Stenlund-Scott-Bittner

Monsters Pairings

Cross-Cockerill
Collins-Simpson
Carlsson-Wade

What’s Next

The Monsters and the Marlies meet in Cleveland on Sunday at 3pm for game 3. On Tuesday, they play in Cleveland again. This time the game is at 7.

Note, the Cleveland Indians will be playing around the same time at home both days. Leave early so you can find parking and not hassle with traffic.