Hannikainen's Hat-Trick Paces Monsters in 7-3 Win Over Iowa

DES MOINES, IA – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, defeated the Iowa Wild by a final score of 7-3 on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA. With the win, the Monsters improved to 3-2 on the season and with a .600 points percentage, currently sit tied for third place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Monsters stormed out of the gate on Tuesday when Daniel Zaar posted his second goal of the season at 7:10 of the opening period, an even-strength marker assisted by Justin Scott and Blake Siebenaler that made it 1-0. Markus Hannikainen extended the Cleveland lead at 11:26 with a five-on-five score set up by Cody Goloubef and T.J. Tynan before Jordan Maletta potted his first pro tally at 18:46 of the first, a shorthanded marker assisted by Zaar and Goloubef that made it 3-0 heading into the middle frame.

Iowa’s Jordan Schroeder put Iowa on the board at 1:12 of the second, but three unanswered Monsters goals pushed the score to 6-1 with Dante Salituro’s first professional marker coming at 2:41 of the second, set up by Jaime Sifers and Joe Pendenza, before Hannikainen posted two straight even-strength tallies, unassisted at 3:18 and set up by Siebenaler at 5:57, to complete the Helsinki, Finland native’s first North American professional hat-trick prior to the end of period two. Late in the second, the Wild rallied with consecutive power-play goals from Tyler Graovac at 11:39 and Pat Cannone at 19:08, but the third period’s lone score, an empty-net Dean Kukan finish at 14:20 of the final stanza, assisted by Pendenza, established Cleveland’s final margin of victory at 7-3.

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Anton Forsberg improved to 3-1-0 in net for the Monsters thanks to a 34-save showing in his fourth appearance of the season, while Alex Stalock and Steve Michalek combined to stop 37 of the season-high 44 pucks offered on net by the Monsters in Tuesday night’s Cleveland victory.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Thursday home clash vs. the San Antonio Rampage with full coverage, live from Quicken Loans Arena, underway at 7:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.

Tickets for every Monsters home game start at just $10 and are on sale now! Full and partial season ticket memberships are also available and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices. Group outing and birthday bash packages for 10 or more people are also on sale now. All tickets can be purchased by visiting ClevelandMonsters.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/clevelandmonsters, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.