Cleveland Monsters (2) at Hershey Bears (4)
Despite playing with exponentially more energy tonight than last night, the Cleveland Monsters fell to the Hershey Bears, 4-2.
The Bears were the first to light the lamp 6:11 into the first period. From below the blue line, Chris McCarthy tossed the puck to Axel Jonsson-Fjallby who was able to fire it past Steve Johnson and Veini Vehvilainen. The Cleveland netminder was not ready for the shot at all and had to leap in an attempt to stop the puck from entering the net.
Not long after the Bears first goal, the Monsters gave Pheonix Copley quite the workout by firing off three shots in 30 seconds from multiple angles. On top of this, the Monsters turned on their burners and were skating like men on a mission. The team on the ice during the first period tonight was a much different team than the Monsters fielded on Friday night. Their energy was off the charts.
In what seems to be a budding tradition, the second period was a bit on the wild side. Not even 30 seconds into the second, the Bears and Monsters were sharing aggressive words with one another.
A little under six minutes into the second, Justin Scott almost scored a goal against his own team when a shot bounced off his leg. Vehvilainen was quick to catch it and foil what would have been an accidental power play goal.
Now here is the moment everyone has been waiting for all season.A fight featuring Brett Gallant took place with 8:52 left in the second. To make it even better, there were 60 Monsters fans in attendance to watch Gallant trade haymakers with former Monster Kale Kessy. Gallant came away with the win when he laid a hit above Kessy’s eye before taking him down to the ground.
A minute and a half later, there was a line scuffle. Not a brawl. Just a slight scuffle full of colorful words that would make your grandmother blush. As the two teams headed towards the benches to settle down, Kole Sherwood and Matt Moulson graduated from using their words to using their bodies to communicate.
Adam Clendening tied the game up at one with 3:39 left in the second period. He launched the puck from the point through an opening between Copley’s body and left arm. For the bulk of the game, the Bears kept Clendening away from the point whenever he had the puck. They knew Clendening was deadly when it came to creating plays and scoring goals from the point. Yet, on this specific play, they left him wide open to make magic happen.
The magic didn’t last long as the Bears took the 2-1 lead with 2:02 left in the second period. Bobby Nardella one times a rocket from the top of the faceoff circle past Vehvilainen’s glove.
The Monsters were able to tie the game 5:59 into the third period when Sherwood rebounded Sam Vigneault’s shot into the net. Mere moments after the puck crossed the goal line, the Bears head coach Coach Carbery threw his arms in the air begging for a review. It appeared as though Carbery knocked the net off it’s moorings when he blocked Vigneault’s initial shot. After a few minutes of deliberation, the officials kept the original ruling of a Monsters goal.
After a multitude of highlight reel saves by Vehvilainen, the Bears were able to take the 3-2 lead with 3:20 left in the game. Beck Malenstyn was posted at the top of the crease next to Marko Dano and tipped a shot into the net. Dano could have easily prevented the goal with one push or hip bump.
With 16 seconds left in the game, the Bears delivered the final blow when Jonsson-Fjallby scored on the Monsters’ empty net. Leading up to this goal the Monsters never gave up on the game. They continued to power through the opposition and try to make things happen. Even after the final goal of the night, the Monsters tried to figure out a way to score. You could see the wheels turning as they tried to run plays which would allow them to score two goals in 16 seconds.
Next up for the Monsters is a Sunday afternoon romp with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 3:05 pm.
1st - Beck Malenstyn (Hershey Bears) - 1g, 0a
2nd - Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (Hershey Bears) - 2g, 0a
3rd - Chris McCarthy (Hershey Bears) - 0g, 2a
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
Steve Johnson - Adam Clendening
Brandon Anselmini - Dillon Simpson
Michael Prapavessis - Doyle Somerby