Monsters win 3rd Straight Beat Checker’s 3-1  
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Monsters defeated the Charlotte Checkers 3-1 Tuesday night from Charlotte, North Carolina. Of note: Markus Hannikainen was back in the lineup after taking a slap shot to the neck in Thursday’s game versus the Chicago Wolves; Zac Dalpe is out for a second straight game with an undisclosed injury; and Elvis Merzlikins returned as Columbus sent him down and recalled Matiss Kivlenieks.

The Monsters got off to a fast and furious start. Just under four minutes in, Kevin Stenlund passed from the side of the net up to Andrew Peeke, who blasted a slap shot pass Anton Forsberg’s glove side. Secondary assist went to Stefan Matteau. There was no other scoring in the first or second period.

The third period was quite busy. Marko Dano, who was riding a five game point streak all courtesy of assists, got his first goal of the season at 1:14 of the third. After Jakob Lilja picked off a pass in the Checkers’ zone, he fed the puck to Marko Dano, who fired a wrist shot from the corner of the left side faceoff circle. With the assist, Lilja now has a two game point streak. When Nathan Gerbe was in the box for hooking, the Monsters were able to extend their lead to 3-0. Gabriel Carlsson chipped a puck off the boards in his zone up to Marko Dano, who skated up the ice into the Checkers’ zone; he did some nice stick handing and beat Forsberg with a backhand glove side. This was the Cleveland Monsters’s seventh short handed goal this year; they are tied for the lead in the league with the San Diego Gulls. The Checkers spoiled the shutout at 8:38 of the third. A shot from Brian Gibbons was blocked by Calvin Thurkauf and it landed on the stick of Steven Lorentz; he fed it to Cavan Fitzgerald above the faceoff circle, who then scored.

Looking back at keys to the game, the first one was to continue to score on the power play; the Monsters were 0/3. The second key was to continue to play a strong defense, which the Monsters did very well. The third key was to continue to screen the goalie; there wasn’t much of that tonight but the Monsters still managed to score goals.

The Monsters started Elvis Merzlikins in net and he stopped 28 of 29 shots faced. The Checkers countered with former Monsters Anton Forsberg, who stopped 28 of 31 shots. The first star went to Marko Dano with two goals, the second star went to Elvis Merzlikins with his 28 saves, and the third star went to Cavan Fitzgerald with a goal.

Next up for Cleveland is a rematch with the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. in Charlotte. The first key will be to continue to score early in the periods; the second key will be to continue to dominate on the kill and kill penalties; and finally, the third key will be to keep the streak going against the Checkers. The Monsters are currently 3-0 on the year against Charlotte..
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​POSTED 11/27/2019 04:54
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