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Tough night at the office for the Cleveland Monsters

Photo Credit: John Saraya/Cleveland Monsters

Rochester Americans (4) at Cleveland Monsters (2)

It was a tough night at the office for the Cleveland Monsters as they were taken down by the Rochester Americans, 4-2.

Before the game, the Monsters received reinforcements in the form of Jakob Lilja, Andrew Peeke, and Matiss Kivlenieks. “They got here this afternoon. They didn’t get a chance to skate,” Head Coach Mike Eaves explained of the guys who came into the game. “Some of the challenge we had tonight is we had three guys come in who didn’t have a skate with us and tried to jump in there midstream.”

After a lengthy injury, Bryan Moore slotted into the lineup for the first time this season last night. “I’ve never seen Bryan in a game. I noticed he kept his shifts really short and tried to do the simple things. I think that helped a lot,” Coach Eaves said on Moore’s first game in the lineup.

The Americans were first on the board 9:20 into the game. Kivlenieks skated around back to rim the puck and broke his stick in the process. He was able to prevent a shot from below the goal line from going into the net. Unfortunately, Kivlenieks couldn’t get back to the crease in time to stop Nathan Paetsch’s shot from flying into the open net. “I think the first goal was an indication of how the whole night went,” Coach Eaves said of the ice cold start to the game, “You go to rim the puck and the stick breaks. Next thing you know, the puck is in the net.”

With 8:30 to play in the first period, the Americans extended their lead over the Monsters to 2-0. Kivlenieks stopped Erric Cornel’s initial shot but Sean Malone batted it out of the air for Pascal Aquin to pop into the net. “We put ourselves in the hole 2-0 and we couldn’t get ourselves out of it,”

The Monsters showed some sign of life when Calvin Thurkauf put the Monsters on the board 1:02 into the second period. After receiving a pass from Lilja, Thurkauf glided down the ice before launching the puck into the net from the top of the faceoff circle.

The Americans fired back and extended their lead to 3-1 4:53 into the second period. Yet again, Aquin was the culprit. He muscled around Simpson before popping the puck into the net.

The first penalty of the night came courtesy of the Monsters with 11:43 left in the second period. Despite being hemmed into their defensive zone for the entirety of the penalty, the Monsters were able to prevent the Americans from scoring.

With 5:31 left in the second period, the Monsters head to their first power play of the night. Now it was the Americans turn to be hemmed into their own defensive zone. During the Monsters power play, both Peeke and Lilja fired off multiple heavy handed slappers from the top of the faceoff circle.

A little over two minutes into the third period, the Americans extended their lead over the Monsters to 4-1. Cornel launched a shot that banged off of Peeke’s shine. He then picked up the blocked shot and lofted it through Kivlenieks’ five-hole. After this goal, Kivlenieks began to play a much tighter game. He didn’t leave the crease much and tried to use his body to fill the net from post to post. When he had to leave the crease or move to one side of the net, Gabriel Carlsson and Anton Karlsson filled the gap in the net. This took away many scoring opportunities for the Americans in the final period of play.

Trey Fix-Wolansky fired a laserbeam from below the point to put the Monsters within two of the Americans with 7:43 to play in the game. The late period goal wasn’t enough to light a fire under the Monsters. In the end, they ended up falling to the Americans 4-2.

Last night was an anomaly for the Monsters. “It was surprising to see us play this way as a group because that’s not who we’ve been for a great part of this season,” Coach Eaves said of last night’s play, “It’s disappointing and I know the boys are disappointed. It does happen. It’s about us responding now”

The question is how will the Monsters respond and prepare for Friday’s game against the Binghamton Devils. “We play a lot of hockey coming up,” Coach Eaves said, “So, do we even practice tomorrow or do we come back on Friday have a good skate in the morning and get ready for our next opponent?”

3 Stars

1st - Eric Cornel (Rochester Americans) - 1g, 2a
2nd - Pascal Aquin (Rochester Americans) - 2g, 0a
3rd - Trey Fix-Wolansky (Cleveland Monsters) - 1g, 0a

Monsters Lines

Stefan Matteau - Kevin Stenlund - Trey Fix-Wolansky
Marko Dano - Calvin Thurkauf - Jakob Lilja
Paul bittner - Sam Vigneault - Kole Sherwood
Bryan Moore - Derek Barach - Maxime Fortier

Monsters Pairs

Gabriel Carlsson - Adam Clendening
Dillon Simpson - Andrew Peeke
Anton Karlsson - Doyle Somerby