Monsters Chased Down by Checkers

CHARLOTTE, NC – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, were defeated by the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, by a final score of 5-3. With the loss, the Monsters fell to 17-14-1-3 overall this season and with a .543 points percentage, remain alone in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

Monsters sniper Sonny Milano took advantage of assists from T.J. Tynan and John Ramage at 6:57 of the first period on Saturday to pot a shorthanded, breakaway score that, when combined with an even-strength Oliver Bjorkstrand tally at 13:57, set up by Justin Scott, left Cleveland in front by a score of 2-0 at the end of the opening stanza.

Jordan Maletta redirected a five-on-five Dillon Heatherington left-point blast, assisted by Ramage, at 3:08 of the second to extend the Cleveland lead to 3-0, but the Checkers bounced back with a pair of goals just nine seconds apart, from Phil Di Giuseppe on the power-play at 16:36 and Andrej Nestrasil at even-strength at 16:45 respectively, to draw Charlotte within a goal at 3-2 entering the final period of regulation.

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In the third, the Checkers pulled away, tallying three unanswered goals, from Lucas Wallmark at 12:16, Sergey Tolchinsky at 17:13 and an empty-netter from Wallmark at 19:59 to skate away winners by a final score of 5-3. Brad Thiessen fell to 0-3-0 in net for the Monsters this season despite making 28 stops in his first start for Cleveland since October 28th, while Checkers backstop Alex Nedeljkovic improved to 5-12-0 between the pipes for Charlotte by virtue of a 22-save performance.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Wednesday home clash vs. the Rockford IceHogs with full coverage, live from The Q, 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.