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Open Thread: Cleveland Monsters battle Hershey Bears in Eastern Conference Finals

Apr 11, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brendan Gaunce (16) passes the puck as Florida Panthers center Kevin Stenlund (82) defends during the first period at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The march to the Calder Cup continues tonight as the Cleveland Monsters begin their best-of-seven series against the Hershey Bears (Washington’s affiliate). The winner of this series will face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Coachella Valley Firebirds (Seattle) and Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville).

The Monsters swept the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay) in the semis, while Hershey did the same to the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers).

The big news for the Monsters is the return of team captain Brendan Gaunce. He spent 24 games with the Blue Jackets late in the season, then finished the season on the injured list. He has recovered and cleared waivers so he can return to the Monsters lineup, where he put up 19/20/39 in 46 games.

Schedule

The first two games will be broadcast on CW43 in Cleveland, and all games are streamed on AHLTV.

Regular Season Stats

HersheyCleveland
229Goals233
151Goals Against238
Ethen Frank, 29G LeaderTrey Fix-Wolansky, 26
Joe Snively, 45A LeaderTrey Fix-Wolansky, 34
Joe Snively, 59P LeaderTrey Fix-Wolansky, 60
Dylan McIlrath, 100PIM LeaderJames Malatesta, 79
29-7-0-0Home20-14-2-0
24-7-0-5Road20-10-3-5

Postseason Stats

HersheyCleveland
26Goals22
11Goals Against13
Ethen Frank, 5G LeaderJosh Dunne, 3
Chase Priskie, Joe Snively, 6A LeaderMarcus Bjork, David Jiricek, Justin Pearson, 4
Hendrix Lapierre, 8P LeaderJustin Pearson, 6
Joe Snively, 16PIM LeaderJosh Dunne, Stanislav Svozill, Jakub Zboril, 8
4-0-0-0Home4-0-0-0
2-1-0-0Road2-1-0-0

Go Monsters!