Monsters Outlast IceHogs on Opening Night

CLEVELAND – In front of 13,279 fans at The Q, the AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, defeated the Rockford IceHogs on Friday by a final score of 2-1 in the first game of the 2016-17 AHL season. With the win, the Monsters improved to 1-0-0-0 on the season and with a 1.000 points percentage, currently sit tied for first place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

After a scoreless first period, Sonny Milano provided Cleveland with a 1-0 lead at 12:46 of the middle stanza thanks to an extra-man setup from Jaime Sifers and T.J. Tynan. The Monsters struck quickly in the third, doubling their lead to 2-0 just 25 seconds into the frame courtesy of an even-strength backdoor finish from Alex Broadhurst with Tynan and Aaron Palushaj collecting assists on the play.

Rockford spoiled Cleveland goaltender Anton Forsberg’s shutout bid at 17:36 of the third period with a Tanner Kero even-strength goal, assisted by Viktor Svedberg and IceHogs’ net-minder Lars Johanssen, but thanks to 24 total stops, Forsberg backstopped Cleveland to a 2-1 win. Fresh off a championship season for Frolunda in the SHL, Johanssen turned in a 26-save performance for Rockford in defeat.

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Prior to Friday’s game, the Monsters raised their 2016 Calder Cup Championship banner into the rafters at Quicken Loans Arena during an on-ice ceremony featuring comments from Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager and Monsters General Manager Bill Zito and returning Cleveland captain Ryan Craig.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday rematch vs. the IceHogs with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 5:00 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, 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, and on Instagram at