Cleveland Monsters (2) at Chicago Wolves (3) - Overtime
Today marked the final game of a stretch of three games in three days in three different cities for the Cleveland Monsters. Coming into this afternoon’s game against the Chicago Wolves, the Monsters had dropped their last two. A win today would ended the trip on a high note and set the Monsters in the right direction for the rest of the season.
With the loss of Kole Sherwood to the parent club, Branden Troock bumped up to the third line with Calvin Thurkauf and Paul Bittner. While, Bryan Moore slotted back into the lineup wearing a cage. So, yet again, the lines changed a bit and players had to adjust to their new linemates at the last minute.
The Monsters started the game exuding an abundance of energy. They had their burners on with no intention of shutting them off. The Wolves matched the energy of the Monsters at every turn. Which is why the first period ended with the game tied at zero. Plus, both netminders, Veini Vehvilainen and Garret Sparks put on a bit of a show. Multiple time they leapt across the crease or went into the splits to prevent a goal from being scored.
Things were even more lively in the second period when three goals were scored between the two teams.
Both Monsters goals came courtesy of great teamwork by Calvin Thurkauf and newly signed PTO Branden Troock. The first Monsters’ goal was scored 3:35 into the second period when Thurkauf rushed the net to pick up Troock’s rebound. With 7:52 left in the second, Troock one-timed a pass from Thurkauf into the net. Thurkauf launch the puck in front of the crease from below the goal line. In years past, Thurkauf would have skated around back and gone for the wraparound attempt. This year he’s been setting up a play if he can’t envision the puck going in on a rush.
Between these two goals, Brett Gallant and Ryan MacInnis had breakaway shot attempts that Sparks was able to deny. Both tried to pick up their own rebounds but were immediately swarmed by the Wolves’ defense.
Curtis McKenzie cut the Monsters lead in half, 2-1, with 5:44 left in the second period. Tye McGinn tossed the puck in the slot for McKenzie to deflect into the net. Once the play was in motion, there was no stopping the puck from finding the back of the net.
The Wolves tied the game at two with nine minutes left in the game. After the faceoff, Adam Clendening raced for the puck in the corner. As the Wolves barreled down on the puck, Clendening backhanded a pass to Paul Bittner who immediately fumbled the pass sending it to Dylan Coghlan’s stick. From the point, Coghlan launched the shot into the net past Vehvilainen’s blocker.
Despite their best efforts to wrap this game up in regulation, the Monsters and Wolves headed to overtime. The Monsters started overtime by losing the faceoff at center ice which allowed the Wolves to take the time to draw up a play. Trey Fix-Wolansky was able to apply just enough pressure to prevent the play the Wolves were drawing up to become successful. Halfway through overtime Markus Hannikainen forced a turnover and passed it off to Ryan MacInnis who immediately powered towards the net. Brandon Pirri hip checked MacInnis into the air before he could reach the net. This high level of play continued until the Wolves wrapped the game up with 30 seconds left in overtime. Coghlan was able to send a laser beam of a shot careening under the crossbar into the net.
As you can see, the Monsters started out strong but the Wolves were able to get the best of them as the game clock ticked on.
Next up for the Monsters is an away game against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, February 21st at 7pm.
1st - Dylan Coghlan (Chicago Wolves) - 2g, 0a
2nd - Garret Sparks (Chicago Wolves) - 29 saves, 31 shots faced, 64:30 TOI
3rd - Curtis McKenzie (Chicago Wolves) - 1g, 0a
Stefan Matteau - Ryan MacInnis - Trey Fix-Wolansky
Markus Hannikainen - Derek Barach - Maxime Fortier
Paul Bittner - Calvin Thurkauf - Branden Troock
Bryan Moore - Sam Vigneault - Brett Gallant
Steve Johnson - Adam Clendening
Michael Prapavessis- Dillon Simpson
Anton Karlsson - Doyle Somerby