Toronto Marlies (2) at Cleveland Monsters (0)
The Cleveland Monsters fell to the Toronto Marlies, 2-0, this afternoon. Being down 3-0 heading into game four is not exactly the place they want to be right now. Especially since they spent the game outplaying the Marlies. No matter how hard they tried, the Monsters couldn’t get anything past Kasimir Kaskisuo.
“I thought we were in it the whole game. We just couldn’t score a goal. All we needed to do was get one goal and things would open up for us. Their goalie played well and we put up 35 shots on him. Lots of rebounds were there. We couldn’t finish and hat was the difference” - Head Coach John Madden
As of late, the Monsters’ special teams have struggled to do anything positive when on the ice. Today was a much different story. They found ways to create plays out of nothing and continued to rush the net. Just like even strength, the Monsters couldn’t get anything past Kaskisuo.
“Our pk was great tonight. Our power play generated a lot of chances. Again, go back to it, puck wouldn’t go in. We were around it. Things were popping over our sticks. We just couldn’t get a bounce.” - Head Coach John Madden
In the end, it was defensive blunders by the Monsters which led to their demise. Both goals came after questionable plays by the Monsters’ defense.
Trevor Moore took off with the puck 13:24 into the first period. He ended up going one-on-one with Garret Cockerill in the slot. As they neared the net, Cockerill slid across the ice forcing Moore to pass the puck to Adam Brooks. Cockerill couldn’t get up in time to stop Brooks from firing the puck into the net. If Cockerill stayed upright and gone for a poke check instead of sliding, he could have easily foiled the play. Or, at the very least, would have been in the position to pick up a rebound.
The second snafu came when the defense allowed Dmytro Timashov out of the neutral zone with an empty net looming before him. Once Timashov broke into the Monsters’ defensive zone, there was no stopping him from firing the puck into the back of the empty net.
To stay alive on Tuesday, the Monsters defense must read the Marlies a bit better. It will make things easier for Brad Thiessen and will allow the forwards to start focusing more on trying to get pucks past Kaskisuo.
Tuesday’s lineup will look similar to this afternoon’s lineup. Head Coach John Madden doesn’t seem to plan on shaking up the lines. He likes the product on the ice and is willing to head into an elimination game with those players.
“Keep it the same. I thought we were more of the aggressive team in terms of the big hits or the finishing hits. I don’t have the stats on that to back it up. I’d say we’ve out hit them, out shot them, out chanced them. So much for analytics.” – Head Coach John Madden
1st – Kasimir Kaskisuo (35 shots faced, 35 saves, 59:35 TOI)
2nd – Adam Brooks (1g, 0a)
3rd – Trevor Moore (0g, 1a)
The Monsters and Marlies meet again on Tuesday night at 7pm. If you’re attending the game, be sure to leave early as the Cleveland Indians have a game at 6pm.