Cleveland Monsters (3) at Rochester Americans (2) - Overtime
The Cleveland Monsters took down the Rochester Americans in a thrilling overtime battle on Saturday night. Joonas Korpisalo was in net for the first time since going down with an injury on December 29th, 2019. He put on a show stopping 31 of the 33 shots the Amerks put on goal.
In Friday night’s loss to the Syracuse Crunch, the Monsters started the game jumpy and flustered. Tonight, the Monsters came out cool, calm, and confident. This change in attitude gave the Monsters the upper hand in the first period.
Trey Fix-Wolansky put the Monsters on the board with a breakaway wrister four minutes into the game. This also happened to be the Monsters first registered shot of the evening.
On the Monsters’ second shot of the night, they extended their lead over the Amerks to 2-0. Fix-Wolansky grabbed an errant puck towards the top of the right faceoff circle. He swatted it towards the net but it sailed a bit wide. Markus Hannikainen chased it down before banging it off the post from below the goal line to make it 2-0 7:35 into the game.
M A R K U S pic.twitter.com/weRpWCa8GB— Cleveland Monsters (@monstershockey) February 23, 2020
With 4:06 left in the first period, Taylor Leier cut the Monsters lead in half. Michael Prapavessis was knocked over while trying to close up the hole left by Korpisalo’s right skate which allowed the puck to fly into the net. If Prapavessis hadn’t been knocked out of position, the puck likely would have been stopped by his blade. It was a smart defensive move by Prapavessis that, unfortunately, did not work out the way he planned.
At the end of the first period, the Monsters led the Amerks 2-1. However, they trailed the Amerks in shots 16-3. The good thing about the lack of shots is the fact 2⁄3 of the registered shots found the back of the net.
The Amerks were able to tie the game at two with 10:45 left in the second period. Brett Murray picked up a rebounded puck and quickly fired it into the net.
For the remainder of the second and the entirety of the third, the Monsters did their best to keep the Amerks out of scoring position. Especially Hannikainen who dug multiple pucks off the board and had a nice breakaway. Branden Troock and Doyle Somerby spent a great deal of the final stanza of play trying to put pucks on net. While,Trey Fix-Wolansky continued to break up plays and pick off passes.
Regulation wasn’t enough time to settle the battle between the Monsters and Amerks. In the first minute of overtime fans were treated to Ryan MacInnis’ ability to not let the opposition get the best of him. Twice he was double teamed while making a move for the net but didn’t let the extra pressure prevent him from moving up the ice with the puck. Fix-Wolansky did a great job of keeping the Amerks from leaving the neutral zone during overtime as well.
The first registered shot from either team in overtime turned into the game winning goal. Sam Vigneault skated along the boards with the puck before gliding into the left faceoff circle. Once he hit the facoff dot, Vigneault launched the puck into the net for the Monsters 3-2 win over the Amerks.
The Monsters look to keep the winning going in Toronto against the Marlies at 11am on Wednesday.
1st - Sam Vigneault (Cleveland Monsters) - 1g, 0a, Overtime Game Winner
2nd - Trey Fix-Wolansky (Cleveland Monsters) - 1g, 2a
Taylor Leier (Rochester Americans) - 1g, 0a
Markus Hannikainen - Ryan MacInnis - Trey Fix-Wolansky
Kole Sherwood - Derek Barach - Maxime Fortier
Paul Bittner - Sam Vigneault - Branden Troock
Bryan Moore - Jared VanWormer - Brett Gallant
Steve Johnson - Adam Clendening
Michael Prapavessis - Dillon Simpson
Anton Karlsson - Doyle Somerby