Monsters complete weekend sweep with 5-4 win over Marlies
BY ANDREW GUARINO
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The scoring didn’t start till 14:25 in the first period, but once it did, it certainly didn’t stop. Ben Harpur picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Vehvilainen. Toronto wasted no time extending their lead to two just 28 seconds later. Pontus Aberg was below the red line, passed up to blue line to Kristians Rubins. Rubins then passed to his right to Nic Petan who one timed a shot into the net. Vehvilainen looked like he never even saw the puck. The Monsters responded, though, rather quickly. As in 13 seconds later quick. Maxime Fortier was battling down in the corner for a puck in the Marlies’ zone. He managed to squeeze the puck to Andrew Peeke at the blue line, who shot the puck and it was tipped in front by Derek Barach and went in. However, just 29 seconds later the Marlies got their third goal in 60 seconds, which was the fourth goal scored in 60 seconds between the two teams. Garret Wilson picked up a pass off the end boards from Mac Hollowell and dropped a pass back to Tanner MacMaster who tipped it in. After this, Mike Eaves had seen enough and he decided to pull Vehvilainen. This wouldn’t end the scoring in the first, though, as the Monsters cut the lead back to one before the intermission. After a big hit by Kole Sherwood in the Monsters’ zone, Ryan Maclnnis picked up the puck and skated into Marlies’ zone on the left side, passed to Marko Dano on the right side; he passed down to Sherwood, who tipped it in. This extended Ryan Maclnnis’ point streak to five games.
After all the scoring in the first, the second period was quiet and saw no scoring and nothing notable happened.
The third saw the Monsters tie the game at 9:57 while on a power play. Stefan Matteau passed from the faceoff circle down to Paul Bittner, who was next to the net. Bittner passed to Trey Fix-Wolansky, who was in the slot and beat the Marlies’ goalie on the stick side. The Monsters continued the quick goal theme in the game and scored seven seconds later, taking the lead. Kole Sherwood picked up a loose puck, did some nice stick moves, and slid the puck passed the Marlies goalie. The assist went to Andrew Peeke and Calvin Thurkauf. The Marlies weren’t done scoring, though, as they tied things up at 15:39 of the third. A pass across the ice from Pontus Aberg landed on the stick of Kenny Agostino who unleashed a slap to beat Kivlenieks.
Over time saw the Monsters get a power play just 55 seconds in, but they weren’t able to score. As the penalty expired, the Monsters were in the Marlies’ zone. Dillion Simpson passed from the blue line to the faceoff circle where Adam Clendening was; his shot went off a couple sticks and was loose in the slot where Stefan Matteau picked it up and backhanded it into the net for the game winner.
The Marlies started Joseph Woll in net; he stopped 19 of 23 shots in 61:46 of game time. The Monsters countered with Veini Vehvilainen; he allowed three goals on 10 shots and was pulled after just 15:25 of game time. Matiss Kivlenieks played the final 46:02 and stopped 29 of 30 shots faced, which was good for the third star. The second star went to Kole Sherwood with two goals and the first star went to Stefan Matteau with a goal and an assist.
Following up on keys to the game: Not to let emotions rule, pick up another two points, and score on power play chances. This game wasn’t super physical as both teams looked to pick up two points before the break - the Monsters got the two points, which was huge and they scored 1/4 on the power play. The player of the game goes to Matiss Kivlenieks with 29 saves in relief of Vehvilainen.
Next up for Cleveland is the Utica Comets next Friday night from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 7pm. Key one will be to continue to have good special teams. Since getting players from Columbus back, the penalty kill has looked good; the power play, even though they haven’t been scoring a lot, has looked ten times better. The second key is to get Vehvilainen back on track as he has struggled in has past couple starts. The final key will be to continue the point streak. This was a huge four point weekend for the Monsters, and 5 of 6 week for them before the break. As of the writing of this article, the Monsters sit in seventh place in the North Division with 44 points, but trail Laval by just four points for the last playoff spot with 32 games left to play.
POSTED 01/25/2020 18:05