Monsters Hit Home Run on Indians Night, Top Wolves 3-2 in Shootout

Bjorkstrand pots ninth-round winner, Korpisalo stops 25 in front of 14,527 at The Q.

CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, defeated the Chicago Wolves in a nine-round shootout on Saturday in front of 14,527 fans on Cleveland Indians Tribute Night at The Q by a final score of 3-2. With the win, the Monsters improved to 20-17-1-3 overall this season and with a .537 points percentage, remain alone in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Wolves grabbed a 1-0 lead on Saturday when Morgan Ellis potted an even-strength goal at 4:08 of the opening period before Chicago winger and all-time Monsters leading scorer Andrew Agozzino took advantage of a five-on-three power-play at 14:21 of the first to make it 2-0 for the visitors heading into the middle stanza.

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The Monsters stormed out of the gate in period two, pulling within a goal at 2:14 thanks to Justin Scott’s ninth of the season, an even-strength marker set up by Oliver Bjorkstrand. Then, with time winding down in the frame, Cleveland captain Ryan Craig deflected home a Scott power-play wrister at 18:16 to level the score at two apiece heading into the third with Sonny Milano collecting the secondary assist on the play.

After the third period and overtime slid by scoreless, the Monsters and Wolves pushed a shootout to the ninth round, with Milano, Markus Hannikainen, Jordan Maletta and Paul Bittner providing scores for Cleveland, and Chicago’s Magnus Paajarvi, Samuel Blais, Agozzino and Wade Megan posting goals for the Wolves through the first seven rounds. Then, Bjorkstrand atoned for three missed breakaways in regulation and overtime with a goal in the top of the ninth round that, paired with a Joonas Korpisalo denial of the Wolves’ Brett Sterling in the bottom half of the ninth, provided the Monsters with a 3-2 victory.

Korpisalo improved to 6-5-2 in net by virtue of a 25-save performance through regulation and overtime and a five-for-nine showing in the shootout while Chicago’s Pheonix Copley is now 11-4-3 between the pipes for the Wolves despite stopping 30 of the 32 Monsters shots he faced.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday home clash vs. the Iowa Wild with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.