Cleveland Monsters (2) at Binghamton Devils (5)
The Cleveland Monsters saw their three game win streak come to an end tonight at the hands of the Binghamton Devils, 5-3.
It only took the Devils 1:16 and two shots on goal to score the first goal of the night. Egor Sharangovich received a pass from Nathan Bastian at the blue line and powered down the slot before backhanding the puck into the net.
With 4:51 left in the first period, the Devils extended their lead over the Monsters to 2-0. Nate Schnarr tossed the puck from the bottom of the faceoff circle to Brandon Gignac who was posted near the top of the crease. Due to the fact Veini Vehvilainen didn’t realize anyone was on the doorstep, Gignac was able to quickly slam the puck into the net.
Around a minute and a half later, the Devils scored their third goal of the evening. Upon receiving a pass from Chris Conner, Josh Jacobs powered down the slot and fired a point blank shot at Vehvilainen. The puck was swiftly knocked away. As Vehvilainen was falling, Jacobs scooped up the rebound for the goal.
Heading into the second period, the Monsters knew they had a lot of ground to make up. Things were a bit rough during the first five minutes of the second. The Monsters did themselves no favors as they didn’t win one offensive zone faceoff. It was as if the Devils knew the Monsters were struggling to win faceoffs in the Monsters o-zone. The Devils kept icing the puck after winning the faceoff when they couldn’t immediately create a breakout play. Thus the puck would come back to the o-zone for a faceoff.
On the flip side of things, Maxime Fortier went two-for-two on faceoffs in the first five minutes. The first one happened in the Monsters’ defensive zone. Fortier backhanded the puck off the boards for one of the Monsters to take off with. The second faceoff win was an absolute beauty. After the puck dropped, Fortier used his body to put space between the opponent and the puck. It was reminiscent of a blue collar, old school Brandon Dubinsky faceoff win.
Typically the Monsters are great along the boards. Last night was the exception to the rule. This was highlighted when Trey Fix-Wolansky turned the puck over along the boards 4:45 into the second period which allowed the Devils to score their fourth goal of the night.
With 6:04 left in the second period, the Monsters lit the lamp for the first time. Calvin Thurkauf scooped up a rebound from a blue line bomb by Adam Clendening for the goal. This is the second game in a row that Thurkauf picked up a rebound off a Clendening shot.
The third period was on the cusp of becoming a wild one a few times. There were a few fundamental breakdowns, a goal from each team, and a whole lot of sass.
In the first half of the third, the Monsters took three penalties in a row. One of which led to a power play by Gignac. This goal could have been prevented if Vehvilainen wasn’t being screened by his own defender, Steve Johnson.
With 7:14 left in the game, Clendening launched a heavy handed shot from the faceoff circle that Sam Vigneault redirected into the net. The Monsters still trailed 5-2 but the goal seemed to ignite something inside of them. Despite their best efforts, the Devils shut down the Monsters at every turn. In the end, the Monsters fell to the Devils 5-2.
Next up for Cleveland is a 7pm puck drop against the Hershey Bears and a 3:00pm romp on Sunday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
1st - Brandon Gignac (Binghamton Devils) - 2g, 0a
2nd - Chris Conner (Binghamton Devils) - 0g, 2a
3rd - Cory Schneider (Binghamton Devils) - 29 saves, 31 shots faced,60:00 TOI
Stefan Matteau - Derek Barach - Trey Fix-Wolansky
Marko Dano - Justin Scott - Kole Sherwood
Paul Bittner - Sam Vigneault - Calvin Thurkauf
Brett Gallant - Maxime Fortier - Abbott Girduckis
Anton Karlsson - Adam Clendening
Steve Johnson - Dillon Simpson
Michael Prapavessis - Doyle Somerby