Rocket to much for Monsters in 5-2 loss      
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Laval Rocket defeated the Cleveland Monsters by a final score of 5-2 Thursday evening from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Some pregame notes: According to a interview from Coach Eaves, "Dalpe, Fortier, and Collins won't be back anytime soon." Marko Dano made his return to the lineup in Thursday's night game as well.

The first period was quiet between Cleveland and Laval. Dillion Simpson blocked a shot early in the game; he went straight down the tunnel but he quickly returned.

Laval opened the scoring at 2:37 into the second. A shot from the blue taken by Gustav Olofsson went off the boards behind the net to the right side of Vehvilainen. The puck redirected off to the left side of Vehvilainen, where Michael Pezzetta was waiting, and he scored. Just 38 seconds later Laval extended the lead to two. Gustav Olofsson made a pass out of the Laval zone to Alexandre Alain, who was just a stride ahead of Anton Karlsson. Alain fired the puck stick stick to beat Vehvilainen. Shortly after the second Laval goal was scored, Bryan Moore laid a big hit on a Rocket player; he left the ice in a hurry after this hit but he came back; it was another close call. Laval's third straight goal came at 7:53. Jesperi Kotkaniemo drove the puck into the Monsters' zone to the left of Vehvilainen, stopped at the end of the face-off dot, and passed through the crease to Yannick Veilleux, who tapped the puck in. The Monsters cut the deficit to two with less than a minute remaining in the period. Justin Scott left a drop pass for Branden Troock, who picked up the pass and shot the puck from the slot and scored.

Laval scored the first goal of the third period while on a power play. Otto Leskinen was on the blue line and passed to his left to Nikita Jevpalovs, who was on top of the right face off dot; he passed to Yannick Veilleux, who was on the left side of Vehvilainen, and he tipped it in. The Monsters responded less than 90 seconds later with a power play goal of their own. Marko Dano came cutting into the zone with speed and passed the puck across the lane to Sam Vigneault, who scored. Laval scored an empty net goal with 57 seconds left in the game. The Monsters pulled Vehvilainen at the three-minute mark of the third and had some great looks but couldn't capitalize.

The Monsters started Veini Vehvilainen in net; he stopped 16/20 shots faced. The Rocket countered with Cayden Primeau, who stopped 29/31 shots faced. The third star went to Branden Troock with a goal, the second star went to Gustav Olofsson with two assists, and first star went to Yannick Veilleux with two goals.

Looking back at keys to the game – Get two points, quit taking so many penalties, and screen the goalie – The Monsters did do some screening of the goalie but none of the screening resulted in goals; they couldn't get the two points; and they took five minor penalties, which is an improvement from last game.

Next up for Cleveland is the Laval Rocket again tomorrow night at 7pm from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The first key to the game will be play hard. Even though the playoffs seem to be out of reach (unless the Monsters start a huge winning streak), but they should play hard for the fans who come. Key two will be to play physical and try to get Laval off their game. The final key will be to take more quality shots.

Playoff watch:
Sunday - 
Binghamton defeated Bridgeport 1-0, a negative result for Cleveland.

Monday -
Toronto defeated Texas 3-2, a negative result for Cleveland.

Wednesday -
Belleville defeated Toronto 8-4, a positive result for Cleveland. 
Utica defeated Rochester 3-1, a negative result for Cleveland.

Friday -
Rochester takes on Belleville - Monsters fans want a Belleville win.
Utica takes on Charlotte - Monsters fans want a Charlotte win.
The Crunch visit Toronto - Monsters fans want a Crunch win.
Binghamton takes on Wilkes Barre - a Penguin win is what Monsters fans want..
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​POSTED 03/05/2020 22:27
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