Monsters sweep Wolves with 3-0 shut out  
 BY ANDREW GUARINO
    HOCKEY WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Monsters defeated the Chicago Wolves Friday night by a score of 3-0 from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.. This was the second shutout of the year, the first coming on October 26th vs. Rockford. A very welcome sight to the Monsters line up was Brett Gallant, it was his first game of the year.

The first period yielded no response from either team. The Wolves controlled the tempo for most of the first period. The Monsters’ first goal of the game came at 9:22 of the second and it was a power play goal. Nathan Gerbe took a slap shot from beyond the left face off circle and it beat the Wolves’ goaltender, stick side. The goal was assisted by Stefan Matteau and Adam Clendening. With this power play goal, the Monsters ended a 0/36 stretch which lasted ten games without a power play goal. The second goal came less than five minutes later when Stefan Matteau from the corner passed through the center of the lane to Kevin Stenlund, who shot from on top of the left faceoff circle and scored. The shot area was identical to where Nathan Gerbe took his shot from.

At 5:03 into the third, Ryan Maclnnis sent a picture perfect pass up to Jakob Lilja, whose wrist shot beat the Wolves’ goaltender glove side. This was Lilja’s first American Hockey League goal.

Looking back at keys to the game: the first one was to get clearer zone entries, which I think the Monsters did overall. A lot of time this game was spent in the neutral zone. The second key was to win faceoffs, which the Monsters struggled with again tonight. The third key was to keep turnovers to a minimum, which I think the team did well with tonight. The player of the game was Veini Vehvilainen with the shutout. Something to note is the last time the Monsters scored a power play goal was October 26th against Rockford. This was also the last time they got a shut out and Vehvilainen was in net for that game as well. Marko Dano with his assist tonight extended his point streak to five games. 

The Wolves started Garret Sparks in net who stopped 22 of 25 shots faced. The Monsters countered with Veini Vehvilainen in net - he stopped all 16 shots faced. That performance earned him the first star of the game. Stefan Matteau earned the second star with two assists, and the third star went to Jakob Lilja with a goal.

Next up for Cleveland is the Charlotte Checkers in Charlotte on Tuesday night. The Monsters have played the Checkers two times this year and have won both times, one being in overtime. Key one will be to continue to score on the power play. The second key will be to continue to keep strong defensive plays, as the Wolves only had 16 shots tonight. The third key will be to continue the good screening in front of the goalie.
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​POSTED 11/23/2019 03:21
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