Vehvilainen and Kindkaid steal the show as a Checkers beat Monsters 2-1
BY ANDREW GUARINO
(CHARLOTTE, NC) - The Charlotte Checkers defeated the Cleveland Monsters Tuesday night from Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was Cleveland's sixth straight loss. Veini Vehvilainen gave up two goals on three shots to start the game, but after that, he was rock solid. Keith Kinkaid was excellent all night. It was honestly a goalie show Tuesday night.
At 5:42 into the first period, the Checkers opened the scoring in a 4-4 situation. Max McCormick dangled his away around a couple of Monsters' defenders, shot the puck from the slot, and beat Vehvilainen glove side. The second Checkers' goal came on a power play just 56 seconds later. Joey Keane shot a puck hard in close on Vehvilainen and it went off the pad of Vehvilainen and the rebound was picked up by Stelio Mattheos, who scored. This gave Charlotte a 2-0 lead. Toward the end of the period, the Monsters looked liked they scored - it definitely look liked the puck was over the goal line - but they still were not awarded a goal.
The second period produced no goals for either team.
The third period was by far the period of the game for Cleveland. At 7:51 in the third, the Monsters got a power play goal to cut the Checkers' lead in half. Derek Sheppard tried to backhand the puck out of the Checkers' zone, Trey Fix-Wolansky gloved it down and fired a wrist shot from above the right face off circle. The Monsters gave it everything they had in the last minute, but they were unable to score. Fix-Wolansky had a golden opportunity but an amazing save by the Checkers' netminder sealed the deal.
The Monsters started Veini Vehvilainen in net; he stopped 30/32 shots faced, which earned him the third star of the game. Charlotte started Keith Kinkaid, who stopped 27/28 shots faced; he earned the first star of the game. The second star went to Stelio Mattheos with one goal.
Following up on keys to the game - take more shots, not get frustrated, and take advantage of the power play – the Monsters never got aggravated, they were 1/6 on the power play, and finished with 28 shots, so, overall, they did well.
Next up for Cleveland is a rematch with the Charlotte Checkers Wednesday night from Charlotte, North Carolina at 7:00 p.m. Key one is to get some goals - the Monsters are the third worst in the league at scoring goals this year, with only 157 goals. While the Monsters have lost a lot of players to injury, they still have a lot of talented guys on the roster. Key two is to stop with the turnovers. For example, in the second period tonight, Vehvilainen had to make a number of saves due to turnovers in front of the net. The final key is to stop the losing streak and get the two points. The Monsters have lost six straight games and have had only one game go Into overtime, during which they only got one point.
POSTED 03/10/2020 23:07