Milano Tallies Three Points & Monsters Cruise Past Phantoms, 5-1

Kukan, Stenlund post two points each, Berube stops 34 shots in road victory

The Cleveland Monsters defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday night at PPL Center in Allentown, PA by a final score of 5-1. With the win, the Monsters improve to 12-8-3-0 overall this season and with 27 points, currently sit alone in second place in the AHL’s North Division standings.

After a scoreless first period it was the Monsters who got on the board first, getting an even-strength marker from Ryan MacInnis at 10:18 of the middle frame with an assist from Sonny Milano, to give Cleveland the lead, 1-0.

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In the final period, the Monsters extended their lead to 2-0 when Dean Kukan, playing his first game of the year with Cleveland, scored on the power-play at 4:19 on feeds from Milano and Kevin Stenlund. Lehigh Valley cut into the Cleveland lead, 2-1, moments later thanks to an even-strength tally from Nicolas Aube-Kubel at 5:56. The Monsters answered with three straight goals to put the game out of reach for good, the first coming at 9:42 when Stenlund lit the lamp with an even-strength score, unassisted, pushing the Cleveland lead to 3-1. Then, Justin Scott poked home a five-on-five finish at 13:59 on feeds from Vitaly Abramov and Kukan to make the score 4-1. Milano capped the scoring for the evening with an empty-net goal unassisted at 16:30 of the third period to secure the Monsters 5-1 road win.

Monsters goaltender Jean-Francois Berube stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced to improve to 8-6-2 on the season, while Phantoms net-minder Alex Lyon stopped 31 of the 35 pucks he faced to drop to 3-3-0 on the year.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday road matchup versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with full coverage, live from Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, PA, underway at 7:05 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.