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Monsters Go Head to Head with Grand Rapids at Home

In the fifth 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 Thursday with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1 and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 1-3 home loss to the Iowa Wild on Saturday, the Cleveland Monsters enter tonight’s game at 13-22-4-3 on the season. With a .393 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 (8-21-29), C Alex Broadhurst (9-11-20), and RW Miles Koules (8-10-18).

GRIFFINS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 4-1 home win over the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday, the Grand Rapids Griffins enter tonight’s game at 22-18-1-4 overall this season. With a .544 points percentage, the Griffins currently rank fifth in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 11th in the Western Conference. Grand Rapids is led in scoring by LW Matt Puempel (17-21-38), LW Eric Tangradi (16-18-34), and C Ben Street (7-26-33).

SEASON SERIES: Thursday marks the fifth of eight games between the Monsters and Griffins this season and the second of four meetings between the two teams at The Q this year. Cleveland is 1-3-0-0 vs. Grand Rapids overall this season with a -5 goal differential (10/15). At home vs. the Griffins, the Monsters are 0-1-0-0 this season with a -2 goal differential (3/5).

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

Matiss Kivlenieks
OVERALL:      23 GP, (6-13-2), 0 SO, 3.22 GAA, .888 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (23/25) in 1-3 L at CHI (1/21/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      3 GP, (0-3-0), 0 SO, 4.72 GAA, .833 SV%
AT HOME:      11 GP, (4-6-1), 0 SO, .894 SV%

 

Jeff Zatkoff
OVERALL:      2 GP, (1-0-1), 1 SO, 1.96 GAA, .917 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (17/21) in 3-4 OTL vs IA (1/25/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
AT HOME:      1 GP, (0-0-1), 0 SO, 3.83 GAA, .810 SV%

GRIFFINS GOALTENDERS

Jared Coreau
OVERALL:      30 GP, (16-10-2), 0 SO, 2.68 GAA, .908 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (16/17) in 4-1 W vs RFD (1/27/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      2 GP, (2-0-0), 0 SO, 2.02 GAA, .918 SV%
ON THE ROAD:      12 GP, (7-3-2), 0 SO, .933 SV%

 

Tom McCollum
OVERALL:      17 GP, (6-8-3), 0 SO, 3.23 GAA, .897 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (29/31) in 5-2 W at MIL (1/19/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      2 GP, (1-1-0), 0 SO, 2.55 GAA, .917 SV%
ON THE ROAD:      10 GP, (4-5-1), 0 SO, .893 SV%

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • STAY OUT OF THE BOX: Cleveland would do well to avoid penalties on Thursday as the Monsters will be facing a Griffins’ power-play that ranks in the AHL’s top-three in both overall (21.5%, 3rd) and road (24.1%, 1st) power-play percentage.
  • IMPEDE PUEMPEL: Grand Rapids’ leading scorer, LW Matt Puempel, will need to be neutralized by the Monsters on Thursday. Puempel currently ranks in the AHL’s top-15 in scoring (38 PTS, T13th) and is scoring at a better-than point-per-game pace vs. Cleveland this year (4 GP, 3-2-5).
  • WIN THE FIRST 40: Cleveland would be wise to hold a lead through two periods of play on Thursday as the Monsters are 1-18-0-1 when trailing through 40 minutes this season and Grand Rapids is 17-2-0-1 when holding a lead through two frames this year.