Monsters stop Wolves 5-4  
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Monsters defeated the Chicago Wolves by a final score of 5-4 in overtime Saturday evening from Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Cleveland was able to jump out to a 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the game. Dillion Simpson found the puck on his stick and lofted it up to Tyler Angle, who flipped it over the glove of the Wolves' goaltender to make it 1-0. Chicago responded just under a minute later. Adam Helewka sent a pass to the blue line that hopped over the stick of Thomas Schemitsch and Phil Tomasino picked it up in the neutral zone; as he skated into the Wolves' offensive zone, he had a two-on-one. Tomasino opted to shoot the puck and Tarasov made a toe save, but the puck was loose in front of him. Tomasino slapped it past his glove to tie the game up. Cleveland retook the lead on a power play goal at 16:06 of the first. Adam Helewka passed from the top of the left face off circle to the lower half of the left face off circle where Carson Meyer slapped it over the glove of Beck Warm. It looked as if Chicago tied the game in the dying seconds of the first; however, the net came off of its moorings prior to the goal so the goal was disallowed. Cleveland had a 2-1 lead into the intermission. 

It was a fast-moving first period with few stoppages. Period one also brought its fair share of rough stuff with plenty of pushing and shoving after the whistle. 

Period two was a much slower pace one than the first period. The game slowing down also reduced the hits and physicality part of it. Chicago tied things up just over halfway through the second. Cleveland was trapped in their defensive zone for over a minute and they finally got a clearance. The puck didn't make it all the way down the ice, only into the neutral zone. A couple of Monsters tried to switch but it didn't turn out well. Chicago quickly put on the burners and it turned into a breakaway for Zach Solow, who flipped over the glove of Daniil Tarasov and into the net. Cleveland regained the lead in the dying seconds of the second. Adam Helewka and Tyler Sikura had a two-on-one. Helewka enter the zone on the right and passed across the slot to Sikura, who slid it five hole past Beck Warm. 

Cleveland picked up the third period right where they left off in period two. Carson Meyer took a shot off one knee that Beck Warm made a save on; the rebound was loose in the slot when Tyler Sikura picked it up and flung the puck into the back of the net.

Chicago got one back at 9:01 in the third period. Josh Hadley fired a shot from the blue line that found its way into the back of the net. Right before the puck went in, Tommy Novak bumped Daniil Tarasov down. The issue was that he was given a shove by Wyatt Newpower which lead to Novak making contact with Tarasov. Just over three minutes later, Chicago tied the game. Spencer Smallman won an offensive zone face off for the Wolves; he sent the puck to Cavan Fitzgerald and passed down to Cole Smith, who was among the boards next to the left face off circle. Smith fired the shot and it trickled through Tarasov's five hole. 

Ole Bjorgvik-Holm took a high sticking penalty with just 2:16 left in the game. Chicago had their chances but couldn't capitalize, meaning we were heading to overtime. 

Overtime was insanity. The Monsters controlled most of the overtime. They had plenty of chances but just couldn't find a spot to capitalize. They finally did that with just under a minute remaining in overtime. Liam Foudy and Tyler Angle had a complete 2-0 entering the offensive zone due to a bad line change from Chicago. Foudy and Angle passed the puck back and forth a few times before Angle poked it home to give Cleveland the victory. 

This was another game where the newcomers stepped up in a big way. Carson Meyer and Tyler Angle both had big games. These guys have had big opportunities with the call-ups of Nathan Gerbe, Zac Dalpe, and Kole Sherwood. Coach Eaves said, "it's the guys' opportunity to step up. It's a great opportunity for them to show what they're made of and they are really doing that." 

Cleveland started Daniil Tarasov in net; he stopped 32/36 shots faced. Chicago countered with Beck Warm in net, who stopped 32/37 shots faced. The first star went to Tyler Angle with two goals, the second star went to Tyler Sikura with two goals, and third star went to Adam Helewka with three assists.

Next up for Cleveland is a rematch with the Wolves tomorrow at 4pm from the FieldHouse. Let's look at keys to the game and players to watch: 1. Cleveland has to do a better job at getting the puck out of their defensive zone. The Monsters seemed to make unnecessary passes and really struggled to clear the puck. 2. Net front presence. Chicago doesn't like guys even outside of the blue crease. Cleveland should try to get players in front of the net Sunday as it will aggravate Chicago as well as lead to scoring changes. 3. Clean up the passing game. The Monsters' passing game this year has been very clean but it took a major step back Saturday evening. The passes weren't connecting and it really hurt Cleveland. My player to watch is Dillion Simpson. He's riding a eight-game point streak and well he's played the last two games at forward. When Coach Eaves was asked about Simpson's work as forward, he had this to say, "Dillion is one of the smartest hockey players I know. How many guys can make the jump from defenseman to forward and play so well. His hockey IQ is so smart.". 
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​POSTED 04/25/2021 00:54
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