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Cleveland Monsters fall short of a win against the Belleville Senators

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Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Belleville Senators (4) at Cleveland Monsters (1)

After last night’s deflating loss to the Belleville Senators, Head Coach Mike Eaves was hoping the bad taste in the Cleveland Monsters’ mouth would help them play better this afternoon.

Cleveland’s defense put on a show in the first period. With 7:29 left in the opening period, the Senators started to draw up a fast moving play that put two of their guys into scoring position. Michael Prapavessis quickly destroyed the play they were composing with one quick poke check. Shortly after this display of smart defense, Dillon Simpson foiled a breakaway with a poke check followed up by Anton Karlsson yanking the puck off of a Senators’ stick.

The Monsters were able to keep the Senators from light the lamp until there was 1:55 left in the first period. “It was an unbelievable back hand saucer pass. It had to be eight feet in the air and when it landed the guy made a good play,” Coach Eaves said of the Senators first goal of the afternoon. This goal came 35 seconds into the Monsters’ power play.

Four minutes into the second period, the Monsters headed to their second power play of the night due to a tripping call against Nicholas Baptiste. Steve Johnson spent the power play chasing down any Senator who had the puck. He was unwilling to let them get anywhere near a scoring lane. On the offensive side of things, Kole Sherwood had two good looks on net during the power play but was foiled each time. Despite the Monsters’ best effort, the power play struggled to work as one cohesive unit. “Going into this game our power play units hadn’t really had time to work together. We just kind of said Let’s see what you got. Go and do,” Coach Eaves said of the Monsters power play.

With 9:37 left in the second period, Scott went on a breakaway which led him to go one-on-one with Filip Gustavsson. The Senators’ netminder was able to knock the puck away preventing Scott from scoring in his return from injury. Scott’s breakaway score attempt paired with the way he sped around defenders all game proved he was ready to come off of IR. “I thought he did pretty good. His wings seemed to be good. His legs. He was decent on faceoffs,” Coach Eaves said about the way Scott played in his return to the lineup, “He helped our penalty killing a little bit. I think it was a good start for him”

The Senators were able to extend their lead over the Monsters to two with 4:09 left in the second. Initially the goal was waved off as it looked like the puck bounced off the post and out of the crease. After a video review, the officials deemed it a goal as it banged off the inside of the net before popping out of the crease.

A little over three minutes into the third period, the Senators extended their lead over the Monsters to 3-0. A series of nice passes caught Veini Vehvilainen and the defense off guard leaving the net open for Parker Kelly to fire the puck into the net. “That’s a good hockey team over there,” Coach Eaves said of the style of play which led to the Senators third goal of the night, “When you turn the puck over they have the ability to counter and go the other way. The third goal was that.”

With 6:36 left in the game, Sherwood placed himself at the right place at the right time near the top of the crease. When Derek Barach fired a shot off towards the net, Sherwood was able to redirect it into the net for the Monsters first goal of the night. “Well I was glad we got the first one there,” Coach Eaves said of the Monsters only goal of the night. After Sherwood’s goal the Monsters went into the mindset of scoring more goals. “We were talking about pulling our goalie and getting the puck down there. So, we were on the next phase getting ready for that,” said Coach Eaves where the Monsters’ mind was heading down the homestretch.

The Monsters’ positive momentum slowly started to trickle away when they took two penalties almost back-to-back. While killing off the final penalty with 1:55 left in the game, the Senators were able to extend their lead over the Monsters to 4-1. Everyone in front of the net went low to stop the puck but the shot went high.

At this point, there was no coming back from the three goal deficit. However, this doesn’t mean the Monsters didn’t try to make a comeback happen. They turned on the burners and grinded it out until the horn blew signifying the Monsters’ loss.

Heading into the new week, Coach Eaves is going to take a look at who may or may not be coming back into the lineup. As well as, test out a few new line combinations in preparation for Thursday’s game against the Laval Rocket.

3 Stars

1st - Filip Chlapik (Belleville Senators) - 1g, 1a
2nd - Derek Barach (Cleveland Monsters) - 0g, 1a
3rd - Steve Johnson (Cleveland Monsters) - 0g, 0a

Monsters Lines

Sam Vigneault - Derek Barach - Trey -Fix-Wolansky
Paul Bittner - Calvin Thurkauf - Branden Troock
Maxime Fortier - Justin Scott - kole Sherwood
Bryan Moore - Jared VanWormer - Brett Gallant

Monsters Pairs

Steve Johnson - Adam Clendening
Dillon Simpson - Michael Prapavessis
Anton Karlsson - Doyle Somerby