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Monsters Seek Home Weekend Sweep Against Chicago

In the second 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 Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, on Saturday with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 1:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 3-2 home win over the Chicago Wolves on Friday, the Cleveland Monsters enter today’s game at 8-8-2-2 on the season. With a .500 points percentage, the Monsters currently rank fifth in the AHL’s Central Division standings and tenth in the Western Conference standings. Cleveland is led in scoring by C Carter Camper (5-9-14), RW Miles Koules (5-5-10), and LW Paul Bittner (4-4-8).

WOLVES PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 2-3 road loss to the Monsters on Friday, the Wolves enter today’s game at 6-12-4-1 overall this season. With a .370 points percentage, the Wolves currently rank seventh in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 15th in the Western Conference. Chicago is led in scoring by LW Teemu Pulkkinen (8-14-22), C Brandon Pirri (6-10-16), and RW Paul Thompson (6-6-12).

SEASON SERIES: Saturday marks the second of eight meetings between the Monsters and Wolves this season and the second of four meetings between the two teams at The Q this year. So far this season, the Monsters are 1-0-0-0 vs. Chicago both overall and at home with a +1 even goal differential (3/2) vs. the Wolves.

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

Matiss Kivlenieks
 OVERALL:      10 GP, (3-5-1), 0 SO, 2.86 GAA, .896 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (36/38) in W vs CHI (12/8/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (1-0-0), 0 SO, 2.01 GAA, .947 SV%
AT HOME:      5 GP, (2-21) 0 SO, .920 SV%

 

Ivan Kulbakov
OVERALL:      14 GP, (7-6-0), 3.36 GAA, .908 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (31/34) in QC (ECHL) 5-3 W at KC (ECHL) (12/2/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
AT HOME:      N/A

WOLVES GOALTENDERS

Kasimir Kaskisuo
OVERALL:      13 GP, (4-8-1), 1 SO, 2.61 GAA, .908 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (23/26) in 2-3 L at CLE (12/8/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      1 GP, (0-1-0), 0 SO, 3.04 GAA, .885 SV%
ON THE ROAD:      6 GP, (2-4-0), 1 SO, .919 SV%

 

Michael Leighton
OVERALL:      13 GP, (3-4-4). 0 SO, 3.44 GAA, .857 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (0/2) in first 5:48 of 2-5 L vs. GR (12/2/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
ON THE ROAD:      6 GP, (1-1-4), 0 SO, .868 SV%

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • POWER-PLAY PAUL: Monsters LW Paul Bittner is currently in the midst of a four-game home goal streak (4G) and netted the game-winning tally on the power-play in Friday’s 3-2 home win for the Monsters over the Wolves. Bittner’s streak is the longest active such streak in the league and tied for the second-longest streak of its kind in the AHL this season.
  • NEXT MAN UP: As the Monsters continue to deal with a litany of injuries, it’s up to the players that haven’t played huge roles this season on the scoresheet to step up in the absence of key contributors like Zac Dalpe, Miles Koules, and Brad Thiessen, among others.
  • LIMIT SHOTS: Cleveland allowed 38 shots on goal in Friday’s 3-2 home win over the Wolves to a Chicago team that currently ranks second in the AHL in shots on goal per game (33.9). If the Monsters aim to sweep the Wolves on Saturday, they’ll need to find a way to lighten the load on their starting goaltender.