Monsters fall to Crunch 4-2, losing streak extends to five  
(SYRACUSE, NY) - The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Cleveland Monsters Saturday night in Syracuse, New York. This was game three of four between the two clubs this year and Syracuse has won all three. This also extended the Monsters losing streak to five. 

The Monsters started the scoring 8:07 into the first period. Andrew Peeke shot a puck from the blue line which beat the Crunch goalie due to excellent screening in front of the net by Ryan Maclnnis. The assist went to Paul Bittner and Calvin Thurkauf. The lead lasted less than five minutes. After several attempts/shots out in front of the Monsters’ goalie, Danick Martel was able to score. The assist went to Ben Thomas and Luke Witkowski. The Monsters took the lead right back at 14:11 when Nathan Gerbe chipped the puck up to Marko Dano, who skated into the zone and centered a pass to Adam Clendening. Clendening who was streaking down the middle and scored top glove side.

At 13:43 of the second period, the Crunch tied things up and this was the beginning of three unanswered goals. A battle along the boards led to Cory Conacher wrapping the puck around the net and passing to Dennis Yan, who was in the slot and scored. It was Yan’s third goal of the year. Just a little over two minutes later the Crunch scored again. With Luke Witkowski entering the zone, he faked a pass across the ice and shot; it beat Veini Vehvilainen’s five-hole. At the end of the second period, Marko Dano waited till the buzzer sounded to dump a puck in, which upset the Crunch and a huge shoving match ensued. 

The only goal in the third period was an empty net goal by Cory Conacher. 

Looking back at keys to the game: The first key was to get the power play going; the Monsters were 0/3 tonight on the power play, extending the streak to eight straight games without a goal and are 0/32 in that stretch. The second key was to find the way to get the two points; they did not. The final key was to play physical, which the Monsters did. The player of the game was Marko Dano, who is riding a three game point streak and is one of the few who has brought his “A” game to every matchup during this losing streak. 

The Monsters started Veini Vehvilainen in net, who stopped 22 of 25 shots; the Crunch countered with Scott Wedgewood, who stopped 22 of 24 shots. The third star went to Adam Clendening with a goal; the second star went to Cory Conacher with a goal and an assist; and the first star went to Luke Witkowski with a goal. 

Next up for Cleveland is the Chicago Wolves Thursday night from the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Chicago currently sits in seventh place in the Central Division with a 7-8-1-0 record with 15 points. The first key will be, for goodness’ sake, someone please find the team we left in Grand Rapids on November 6th! Although the Monsters did improve tonight as it is the best game we played in a while. The second key will be find the power play. The third key will be keeping up the physical and strong play.
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​POSTED 11/17/2019 13:21
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