Monsters Point Streak Ends at Eight
CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, were defeated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in front of 11,325 fans at The Q on Wednesday by a final score of 3-2. With the loss, the Monsters season-long eight-game point streak came to an end as Cleveland fell to 15-12-1-2 overall this season. With a .550 points percentage, the Monsters currently sit alone in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.
The Griffins struck first on Wednesday when Tomas Nosek tapped home a power-play marker at 2:40 of the opening frame to make it 1-0 Grand Rapids before Sonny Milano leveled the score at one apiece at 6:30 of the first thanks to feeds from Markus Hannikainen and T.J. Tynan.
In the middle period, Alex Broadhurst wired a power-play wrister past Griffins net-minder Eddie Pasquale at 10:45 to make it 2-1 Cleveland with Dean Kukan and Daniel Zaar notching assists on the play. Grand Rapids scratched back to tie at 16:35, however, as Mitch Callahan drove the net for a rebound tally at even-strength, squaring the Griffins and Monsters at two heading into the final frame of regulation.
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Grand Rapids was able to scratch across the final frame’s lone goal at 15:48 of the period when former Monster Ben Street benefitted from an unwitting deflection of his right-point blast off the stick of Cleveland defenseman Dillon Heatherington to notch the game’s decisive tally, delivering Grand Rapids their fifth consecutive victory, a 3-2 triumph over Cleveland in the seventh of 12 meetings between the two teams this season.
Monsters goaltender Joonas Korpisalo was spectacular in defeat, stopping 34 of the 37 pucks he faced to fall to 5-4-2 in net for Cleveland this year while Pasquale improved to 6-1-3 between the pipes for the Griffins by virtue of a 19-save performance.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday rematch vs. the Griffins with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on Fox Sports Ohio, 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.