Rocket complete sweep of Monsters with 5-1 win
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Laval Rocket defeated the Cleveland Monsters 5-1 Friday night from the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. It was another frustrating game for the Monsters. Bryan Moore was out of the line up tonight; this was noteworthy after he looked banged up after checking a Laval player in last night'sgame.

The first period was quiet between the two teams with no goalsscored. There were only nine total shots between the two teams as well. Of those nine, Cleveland only had two.. 

The second period saw action pick up. At 13:31 into the second, Laval got the first goal of the game. Laurent Dauphin came into the zone on the left side of Brad Thiessen, passed across the ice to Joe Cox, who tipped it into the back of the net. At 18:38,Laval extended the lead to two. Joseph Blandisi won a battle for the puck in the corner and passed to Yannick Veilleux who was in the slot; he fired an absolute rocket into the net. With six seconds remaining in the period, the Monsters got a power play goal to cut the deficit to one. Derek Barach came driving into the zone to the right wide of the Laval goaltender and passed across the ice to Dillion Simpson, who scored, even though there was heavy traffic in front of the net.

At 2:01 in the third, Laval got their two-goal lead back. Laurent Dauphin carried the puck into the Monsters' zone to the left wide of Thiessen; he cut to the middle before he passed to his left to Jake Lucchini, who shot from the right face-off dot and scored stick side on Thiessen. Jake Lucchini got his second of the night at 11:56 when he took a shot from the left face-off circle that beat Brad Thiessen. Lindsay Sparks made a big open ice hit on Laurent Dauphin and Dauphin got back up and hit Sparks. Dauphin and Sparks had words, and when Gallant came over, Dauphin cross checked Gallant and, of course, Gallant took exception. He dropped his gloves but Dauphin did not; Gallant just dragged him to the ground. Gallant got a 10 minute misconduct and a minor for roughing. Joe Cox got a power play goal for Laval with less than two minutes to go to make it 5-1. 

The Monsters started Brad Thiessen in net; he stopped 19/24 shots faced. The Rocket started Michale McNiven in net; he stopped 20/21 shots faced. The first star of the game went to Jake Lucchini who had two goals, the second star went to Laurent Dauphin who had three assists, and the third star went to Joe Cox who has two assists. 

Looking back at keys to the game - play hard, play physical and get Laval off their game, and take more quality shots – the Monsters played hard in the game, but they got clearly flustered as the game went on. Cleveland did not play overly physical, but Bryan Moore was also out out of the lineup since he got banged up in Thursday's nights game after laying a hit on a Rocket player. The Monsters were better at taking shots on Friday night than The night before, but they didn't shoot the puck enough. 

Next up for Cleveland is the Charlotte Checkers Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. from Charlotte, North Carolina. Keys to the gameare take more shots – a team cannot win taking two shots in any period. Key two is to not get frustrated - the Monsters got very aggravated as the game went on Friday night. And key three is to take advantage of power play opportunities. Cleveland was 1/7 in the game on Friday.

With Cleveland's loss, their record is 24-30-4-2 with 54 points. They sit eighth in the North Division. They are 12 points out of fourth place with 16 games to play. They would need to have a serious winning streak and get help. For this reason, the segment play off watch is over for now. I do appreciate all the feedback I received on this feature - it will be back next year.
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​POSTED 03/06/2020 23:35
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