Monsters Edged by Checkers, 3-1

Bittner scores, Kivlenieks stops 23 shots in road defeat

The Cleveland Monsters were defeated by the Charlotte Checkers, 3-1, on Tuesday night at Bojangles’ Coliseum. With the loss, the Monsters drop to 21-20-4-1 overall this season and with 47 points, remain tied in fifth place with the Binghamton Devils and Belleville Senators in the AHL’s North Division standings.

The Checkers struck first in the opening frame when Aleksi Saarela netted an even-strength goal at 5:39 to give Charlotte an early 1-0 lead.

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In the middle frame, Charlotte pushed their lead to 2-0 when Josiah Didier tallied a five-on-five finish at 3:08 of the period. Morgan Geekie potted home another even-strength goal for the Checkers at 18:52 to give the home team a 3-0 advantage heading into the second intermission.

In the third period, the Monsters got on the board when Paul Bittner tallied a power-play goal at 6:42 on feeds from Dan DeSalvo and Alex Broadhurst, sealing a 3-1 win for Charlotte.

Cleveland goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced to drop to 4-4-1 on the season, while Checkers netminder Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced to improve to 22-5-3 on the year.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Wednesday rematch versus the Checkers with full coverage, live from Bojangles’ Coliseum, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.