Author: Stephanie Rothacher (Redline Radio LLC)
As the Cleveland Monster’s hit the ice tonight the crowd was full of hope that they would break a four game losing streak that had begun in Chicago. From the moment the puck dropped at the beginning of the first period, the Monsters’ fans were not disappointed. The whole team was aggressive, and kept the Wild goalie C.J. Motte plenty busy. With heart and soul the Monsters Sam Vigneault scored the first goal and set the crowd on fire. Cleveland’s Brady Austin got a little too enthusiastic resulting in the penalty box for interference and the first goal of the night for Iowa by Mario Lucia. Cleveland goalie Ivan Kulbakov had his hands full with Iowa as they followed up with another goal by Sam Anas, and then a third goal by Kyle Rau. The skirmish turned boxing match between Cleveland’s Sam Vigneault and Iowa’s Hunter Warner gave the crowd quite a show, but left both teams skating short for the final 1.5 minutes of the period. Iowa led 3-1 after one period.
As the Monsters re-took the ice, Coach John Madden switched up goalies putting Matiss Kivlenieks between the sticks. The Cleveland team had some nice passes and aggressive shots. Cleveland’s Jordan Schroeder, assisted by Doyle Somerby and John Ramage, laid down a beautiful shot to put Cleveland on the board first again in the second period. Iowa’s bad boy of the night, Hunter Warner was ready to rumble for the second time when he was rescued by his teammates and quickly pulled back to the bench for a little icing down of his own. Iowa’s Luke Kunin scored with the assistance of Cal O’Reilly and Brennan Menell, leaving the Monster’s down by two for the second period in a row leading 3-1.
Whether it was the locker room talk between the periods, the fans at their loudest of the night or just pure adrenaline coursing through the Cleveland Monster’s bench, it worked. They took every shot they could good, bad or just plain ugly and pulled themselves from beneath the Wild with goals from Paul Bittner and Blake Siebenaler, backed up by Justin Scott, Alex Broadhurst and Zac Dalpe back to back shots just 1.5 minutes apart. The crowd was on its feet as the period came to an end with the game tied at four and overtime now a reality.
Just 3:39 of overtime was required for Cleveland’s Dean Kukan to help Alex Broadhurst score the winning goal that ended their losing streak sending the 6,875 fans home happy and sending the Wild home without the sweep.
The Monsters have two more home games back to back on Friday and Saturday against the Milwaukee Admirals.