Monsters Outlast Comets, 4-3
Letestu scores twice, Berube stops 32 pucks in road win
The Cleveland Monsters, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, defeated the Utica Comets, 4-3, on Friday night, spoiling the AHL-record 121st straight sellout in the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. With the win, the Monsters improve to 4-2-0-0 overall and currently sit in second place of the Eastern Conference’s North Division.
The Monsters struck first when Alex Broadhurst scored at 10:34 of the first period on feeds from Nathan Gerbe and Gabriel Carlsson to give Cleveland an early 1-0 lead.
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In the middle stanza, Cleveland extended its lead to 2-0, thanks to an even-strength tally from Zac Dalpe at 3:19 with assists from Paul Bittner and Carlsson. Mark Letestu picked up his first goal of the season moments later, an even-strength marker at 8:51 from Ryan MacInnis and Carlsson, his third assist of the night, to give the Monsters a 3-0 lead. The Comets responded shortly after, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 3-2 thanks to a pair of power-play goals from Jonathan Dahlen at 10:51 and Darren Archibald at 16:21 of the second period.
Letestu potted his second tally of the night in the third period, an even-strength goal at 6:03 from MacInnis and Doyle Somerby to push the Monsters lead to 4-2. Utica capped the scoring on the evening when Reid Boucher scored at 18:08 of the final frame, sealing the Monsters 4-3 road victory.
Cleveland goaltender Jean-Francois Berube stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced Friday to improve to 3-2-0, while Utica backstop Ivan Kulbakov stopped 20 of 24 pucks faced to fall to 2-1-0 on the year.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday road clash vs. the Binghamton Devils with full coverage, live from the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, underway at 7:05 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.
2018-19 Monsters Hockey Club Memberships, providing fans the ability to lock in the lowest ticket prices, the best seat locations to each game, custom member benefits and an exclusive Monsters jersey, are now available! 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 or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monstershockey, and on Instagram @monstershockey.