I-71 Report: Let's Do That Hockey Season AgainOct 15, 2019
After a long three months, I-71 is finally back open and the traffic has begun flowing between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Cleveland Monsters.
The season kicked off with all players in the organization starting in Columbus for Blue Jackets Training Camp in mid-September. The first big moves on the interstate followed over three days from September 21 to 23 to build a group for Monsters Training Camp.
Throughout the Monsters’ training camp there was consistent movement on I-71 with a variety of players getting the chance to appear in Blue Jackets preseason games.
Out of all the Monsters players that participated in the Blue Jackets’ preseason games, Kole Sherwood, Zac Dalpe and Eric Robinson all registered a goal during their time. Monsters captain Nathan Gerbe was part of a mid-training camp call up for the September 25 preseason tilt against the Buffalo Sabres and tallied two markers during the game.
After the dust settled on the interstate from all the preseason moves, a Cleveland team was set for opening weekend of the 2019-20 season:
Derek Barach, Paul Bittner, Zac Dalpe, Marko Dano, Trey Fix-Wolansky, Maxime Fortier, Brett Gallant, Nathan Gerbe, Markus Hannikainen, Nikita Korostelev, Ryan MacInnis, Stefan Matteau, Bryan Moore, Eric Robinson, Justin Scott, Kole Sherwood, Kevin Stenlund, Calvin Thurkauf, Sam Vigneault
Gabriel Carlsson, Adam Clendening, Ryan Collins, Anton Karlsson, Andrew Peeke, Michael Prapavessis, Dillon Simpson, Doyle Somerby
Matiss Kivlenieks, Brad Thiessen, Veini Vehvilainen
Just prior to his debut at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Markus Hannikainen saw the first regular season movement between the teams when he was called up to Columbus on October 11. Hannikainen played two games with the Monsters during their opening weekend in Laval over the first weekend in October and scored one goal while posting three shots.
This weekend the Monsters will encounter their first stretch of three games in three days this season, starting with a 7:05 p.m. faceoff against the Rochester Americans on Friday night before back-to-back games against the Toronto Marlies at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.