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Monsters Continue Road Trip in Clash Against Griffins

In the third of eight meetings between the two teams this season, the Cleveland Monsters, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck vs. the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, on Friday with full coverage, live from Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1 and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 0-1 road loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Wednesday, the Cleveland Monsters enter tonight’s game at 10-18-3-3 on the season. With a .382 points percentage, the Monsters currently rank seventh in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 15th in the Western Conference standings. Cleveland is led in scoring by C Carter Camper (7-15-22), RW Miles Koules (8-6-14), and C Alex Broadhurst (6-8-14).

GRIFFINS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 5-1 road win over the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Griffins enter tonight’s game at 18-16-1-4 overall this season. With a .526 points percentage, the Griffins currently rank sixth in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 13th in the Western Conference. Grand Rapids is led in scoring by LW Matt Puempel (13-17-30), LW Matt Lorito (12-15-27), and LW Eric Tangradi (11-15-26).

SEASON SERIES: Friday marks the third of eight games between the Monsters and Griffins this season and the second of four meetings between the two teams at Van Andel Arena this year. Cleveland is 0-2-0-0 vs. Grand Rapids overall this season with a -5 goal differential (5/10). On the road vs. the Griffins, the Monsters are 0-1-0-0 this season with a -3 goal differential (2/5).

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

Matiss Kivlenieks
OVERALL:      19 GP, (5-10-2), 0 SO, 3.33 GAA, .882 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (32/35) in 1-4 L at IA (1/7/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      2 GP, (0-2-0), 0 SO, 5.83 GAA, .771 SV%
ON THE ROAD:      10 GP, (2-5-1), 0 SO, .876 SV%

 

Ivan Kulbakov
 OVERALL:      6 GP, (0-4-0), 0 SO, 4.02 GAA, .868 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (12/14) in 38:18 of relief in 3-5 L at CHI (1/3/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (0-0-0), 0 SO, 9.00 GAA, .667 SV%
ON THE ROAD:      3 GP, (0-2-0), 0 SO, .873 SV%

GRIFFINS GOALTENDERS

Jared Coreau
OVERALL:      26 GP, (13-9-2), 0 SO, 2.70 GAA, .909 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (32/33) in 5-1 W at MB (1/10/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (1-0-0), 0 SO, 2.00 GAA, .931 SV%
AT HOME:      14 GP, (6-6-0), 0 SO, .885 SV%

 

Tom McCollum
OVERALL:      15 GP, (5-7-3), 0 SO, 3.39 GAA, .893 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (33/35) in 3-2 OTW at MB (1/8/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (1-0-0), 0 SO, 3.00 GAA, .914 SV%
AT HOME:      6 GP, (2-2-2), 0 SO, .900 SV%

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • STOP ALL-STARS: Cleveland will need to neutralize the Griffins’ two AHL All-Stars on Friday, LW Matt Puempel (13-17-30) and LW Matt Lorito (12-15-27), who also happen to be Grand Rapids’ top two scorers this season. Puempel has 2-1-3 to his credit in two appearances vs. the Monsters this season and is currently in the midst of a six-game home points streak, while Lorito is scoring at a point-per-game pace vs. Cleveland this year (2 GP, 0-2-2).
  • DON’T FALL BEHIND: The Monsters would do well not to enter the third period on Friday behind the Griffins as Grand Rapids is 13-1-0-1 when leading after two periods this season and Cleveland is just 1-16-0-1 when trailing through 40 minutes of play.
  • FRESH FACES: Cleveland’s roster on Friday will feature two relative newcomers in C Michael Kirkpatrick and D Garret Cockerill, both signed to professional tryout (PTO) contracts in recent days. Kirkpatrick was tied for the ECHL-lead in scoring with 40 points to his credit in 33 appearances for the Florida Everblades this season at the time of his signing, while Cockerill joins the Monsters after an eight-game stint with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.