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Monsters Look to Continue Success Against Rockford on the Road

In the fourth 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 Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, on Saturday with full coverage, live from BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1 and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 3-5 road loss to the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday, the Cleveland Monsters enter tonight’s game at 10-16-3-2 on the season. With a .403 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 (7-14-21), RW Miles Koules (7-6-13), and C Sam Vigneault (6-6-12).

ICEHOGS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 3-5 road loss the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Rockford IceHogs enter tonight’s game at 18-15-1-1 overall this season. With a .543 points percentage, the IceHogs currently rank fifth in the AHL’s Central Division standings and tenth in the Western Conference. Rockford is led in scoring by LW Matthew Highmore (15-8-23), LW Tomas Jurco (11-12-23), and C Vinnie Hinostroza (9-13-22).

SEASON SERIES: Saturday marks the fourth of eight games between the Monsters and IceHogs this season and the second of four meetings between the two teams at BMO Harris Bank Center this year. Cleveland is 2-1-0-0 vs. Rockford overall this season with an even goal differential (7/7). On the road vs. the IceHogs, the Monsters are 1-0-0-0 this season with a +3 goal differential (4/1).

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

Joonas Korpisalo
OVERALL:      2 GP, (1-1-0), 0 SO, 2.03 GAA, .929 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (20/23) in 2-3 L vs TEX (11/25/17
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
ON THE ROAD:      N/A

 

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:      N/A
ON THE ROAD:      3 GP, (0-2-0), 0 SO, .873 SV%

ICEHOGS GOALTENDERS

Collin Delia
OVERALL:      5 GP, (1-4-0), 0 SO, 3.70 GAA, .835 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (19/24) in 3-5 L at GR (1/5/18)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (0-1-0), 0 SO, 2.06 GAA, .909 SV%
AT HOME:      2 GP, (0-2-0), 0 SO, .882 SV%

 

Matt Tomkins
OVERALL:      1 GP, (0-1-0), 0 SO, 6.05 GAA, .806 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:   (25/31) in 2-6 L at CHI (12/30/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
AT HOME:      N/A

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • MY NAME IS JOONAS: Cleveland will be buoyed on Saturday by the arrival of recently-assigned Blue Jackets backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, a Calder Cup Champion with the Monsters in 2016. This season for Columbus, Korpisalo notched a 4-4-0 record with zero shutouts, a 2.03 GAA, and a .904 SV% in nine appearances.
  • ROOKIE SENSATION: Rockford LW Matthew Highmore currently ranks in the AHL’s top-ten among rookie skaters in points (23, T9th), goals (15, 4th), power-play goals (6, T3rd), and shots on goal (88, 2nd). Cleveland will need to shut him down on Saturday in order to give them the best chance to beat the ‘Hogs.
  • FRONT RUNNERS: Rockford is 9-1-0-0 when leading after one period of play and a perfect 11-0-0-0 when leading through two periods this year, so Cleveland would be well-served to generate a lead on Saturday.