Monsters Take on Rocket at HomeNov 8, 2019
In the third of eight meetings between the two teams this season, the Cleveland Monsters, affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck vs. the Laval Rocket, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, on Friday with full coverage, live from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.
MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 5-3 road win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday, the Cleveland Monsters enter tonight’s game at 8-3-0-1 on the season. With 17 points, the Monsters currently rank second in the AHL’s North Division standings and third in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland is currently led in scoring by LW Nathan Gerbe (3-8-11), C Zac Dalpe (5-4-9) and C Justin Scott (3-6-9).
ROCKET PRE-SCOUT: Following a 6-5 home shootout win over the Toronto Marlies on Saturday, the Laval Rocket enter tonight’s game at 7-5-1-0 on the season. With 15 points, the Rocket currently rank fifth in the AHL’s North Division standings and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Laval is currently led in scoring by C Alex Belzile (4-5-9), C Charles Hudon (5-2-7) and C Lukas Vejdemo (4-2-6).
REGULAR-SEASON SERIES: Friday marks the third of eight meetings between the Monsters and Rocket this season and the first of four games between the two teams at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this year. Cleveland is 2-0-0-0 vs. Laval so far this season with a +4 goal differential (7/3).
|32 Elvis Merzlikins||OVERALL||4 GP, (0-1-2), 0 SO, 3.91 GAA, .882 S%|
|LAST APP.||(23/27) in CBJ (NHL) 3-4 OTL at STL (NHL) 11/1/19|
|35 Veini Vehvilainen||OVERALL||5 GP, (3-2-0), 1 SO, 2.02 GAA, .932 S%|
(22/23) in 5-1 W vs CHA 11/3/19
|HEAD-TO-HEAD||1 GP, (1-0-0), 0 SO, 1.00 GAA, .968 S%|
|AT HOME||3 GP, (2-1-0), 1 SO, 2.33 GAA, .921 S%|
|39 Brad Thiessen||OVERALL||N/A|
|31 Cayden Primeau||OVERALL||6 GP, (4-2-0), 0 SO, 1.80 GAA, .941 S%|
|LAST APP.||(27/28) in 2-1 SOW vs HFD 11/1/19|
|HEAD-TO-HEAD||1 GP, (0-1-0), 0 SO, 2.05 GAA, .935 S%|
|ON THE ROAD||3 GP, (2-1-0), 0 SO, 1.97 GAA, .936 S%|
|35 Charlie Lindgren||OVERALL||7 GP, (3-3-1), 0 SO, 2.94 GAA, .883 S%|
|LAST APP.||(21/26) in 6-5 SOW vs TOR 11/2/19|
|HEAD-TO-HEAD||1 GP, (0-1-0), 0 SO, 3.08 GAA, .870 S%|
|ON THE ROAD||2 GP, (0-1-1), 0 SO, 2.44 GAA, .884 S%|
KEYS TO SUCCESS:
- ELVIS HAS ENTERED THE BUILDING: Cleveland will turn to goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on Friday in the Riga, Latvia native’s first-career AHL appearance. Originally selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third round (76th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Merzlikins posted a record of 0-1-2 with a 3.91 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage in four appearances for the Blue Jackets this season prior to his assignment to Cleveland on Wednesday.
- HOT MEETS HOTTER: While the Laval Rocket are cruising along at the moment, winners of four-straight games and having earned points in each of their past five outings (4-0-1-0), the Monsters are the only team currently on more of a roll in the AHL. Cleveland’s active five-game winning streak is the longest such active streak league-wide and tied for the fourth-longest streak of its kind in the AHL this year while the Monsters’ four-game home winning streak is tied for the second-longest such active streak league-wide and Cleveland’s six-game points streak (5-0-0-1) currently ranks tied for the longest such streak in the AHL.
- TRIGGER MAN: On Friday, the Monsters will need to neutralize Rocket captain Xavier Ouellet, who currently ranks second league-wide and first among AHL defensemen in shots on goal (49) and whose two power-play goals currently rank tied for the AHL-lead among blue-liners.