Recap: Manitoba Moose Blow 3-1 Lead to Cleveland Monsters
I do not apologize for referencing blown 3-1 leads when people lose.
Manitoba Moose (4) at Cleveland Monsters (5)
Nine goals were scored between the Manitoba Moose and Cleveland Monsters tonight.
JC Lipon put the Moose on the board with 4:34 to play in the first. He accepted a feed from Brendan Kichton at the point and fired it home.
Both teams were fired up when the second period rolled around. So fired up that seven goals were scored. Yes, you read that right. Seven goals were scored in the second period.
The first two goals of the second period came from Jansen Harkins.
Fifty-three seconds into the period, Brian Strait fired a pass from the boards to the nearest faceoff circle where Harkins was lurking. Harkins grabbed the puck, spun, and backhanded it past Anton Forsberg's glove.
Seventeen seconds later, Harkins fired off a shot was the same exact position. Except for this time it was a forehand shot. The Moose now lead the Monsters, 3-0.
The Monsters finally got on the board 8:46 into the second period.
Dean Kukan passed the puck from the faceoff dot to Alex Broadhurst who was standing in the other faceoff dot. Broadhurst one-timed the puck into the net.
Two minutes later, Kukan sent a pass towards Markus Hannikainen. Kevin Czuczman foiled the play with a poke check. However, the puck he poked ended up in the net. Yes, Czuczman scored the second Monsters goal of the night.
With a little under nine minutes to play, Vitaly Abramov set up a beautiful play that lead to the Monsters third goal of the night. Abramov fired towards Ryan Craig who deflected the puck across the crease to TJ Tynan's stick. Without hesitation, Tynan fired the puck into the net.
The score was now tied at three.
Two minutes after Tynan's goal, Sonny Milano was headed towards the net. Jake Kulevich threw his body in front of Milano who stopped on a dime and fired the puck across the ice to Joe Pendenza. Pendenza slammed the puck home to give the Monsters the 4-3 lead.
The Monsters were on fire.
However, the Moose were not going to let the Monsters get off easy.
With 54 seconds in the second period, the Moose tied things up. Dan DeSalvo fired the puck towards the net. The puck bounced off of Jaime Sifers skate onto the stick of Kyle Connor who banged it home for Manitoba.
The third period was an even battle between the two teams. The Monsters would come out victorious scoring the only goal of the third period.
Eight and a half minutes into the third, Vitaly Abramov was knocked to the ice by a heavy hit on the way to the net. Sam Vigneault scooped the puck up and passed it to Hannikainen who banged it home.
“All the credit for that goal goes to Sam Vigneault. I mean, what a play. A great pass from him and I just put it in.” - Markus Hannikainen
But Wait! There's More
- The Monsters had another slow start to the game. Once they got their legs under them, there was no stopping the Monsters.
- TJ Tynan and Vitaly Abramov work very well on the boards together. I was worried about having two smaller guys on the ice at the same time but it's been working out quite well.
- With the exception of the first two power plays of the game, the special teams shined tonight. The Monsters scored on all three of the power plays they had in the second period. /
“Yea, they came up big for us. We've been getting looks all year long. They did their job and that's what got us back in.” - Head Coach John Madden
- There were a lot of turnovers by both teams in the beginning of the third period. It was quite the scene to watch live.
- The Monsters have lost one regulation game over the course of 13 games. Coach Madden gives most of the credit to his team. /
“They've been practicing hard. They've been committed. They are working hard in the games. They are playing for each other. They're doing all the right things and they are getting rewarded for it.” - Head Coach John Madden.
1st – Markus Hannikainen (1g, 0a)
2nd – Dean Kukan (1g, 1a)
3rd – Zac Dalpe (0g, 3a)
If the Monsters win tomorrow night and the Checkers loses in regulation or overtime, the Monsters are in the playoffs.
This playoff race has been so heated even some of the players have been watching the standings.
“Obviously, when we're not playing I check the score.”- Markus Hannikainen
Tomorrow everyone in Cleveland will cheer for their hated rival, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Checkers and Griffins play at the same time the Moose and Monsters are playing. Both the Monsters and the Checkers games tomorrow are the biggest game of the season.
The Cleveland Monsters play their final game of the regular season against the Manitoba Moose on Friday at 7pm est.
Monsters fans, be prepared to get to the game as early as possible. Parking will be sparse. The Indians play the White Sox at 7:10 pm on Friday.