Monsters Push Point Streak to Five in Shootout Loss to Wild
CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, were defeated in a shootout by the Iowa Wild in front of 10,923 fans at The Q on Friday by a final score of 2-1. With the shootout loss, the Monsters are now 12-11-1-2 overall this season and with a .519 points percentage, currently sit alone in fifth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.
In a tight-checking opening frame, the Monsters grabbed an early lead in the first period’s final minute when Daniel Zaar rifled an unassisted even-strength score past Iowa net-minder Steve Michalek at 19:16 to make it 1-0 Cleveland. After a scoreless second, Iowa defenseman Mike O’Reilly tied the game in the final minute of regulation, beating Cleveland backstop Joonas Korpisalo with a six-on-five, five-hole wrister at 19:27 of the third.
After an overtime period proved inconclusive, Cleveland’s Sonny Milano and Iowa’s Sam Anas were unsuccessful in the first round of a shootout before Aaron Palushaj delivered for the Monsters in the second round with his league-leading fourth shootout goal of the campaign. Wild forward Zack Mitchell tied things in the bottom of the second round before Monsters winger Markus Hannikainen and Cleveland’s Alex Broadhurst, along with Iowa’s Colton Beck and Reilly, failed to convert in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. Ultimately, a Michalek stop on Zaar and an Alex Tuch finish for the Wild in the fifth round resulted in a come-from-behind 2-1 win for Iowa, their first against the Monsters this season.
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Despite making 30 saves in regulation and overtime, and three more in the shootout, Korpisalo fell to 4-3-2 in net for Cleveland this season while Michalek improved to 5-6-1 between the pipes for the Wild by virtue of a 17-save performance through the first four frames and a four-stop showing in the shootout. Friday’s game was the Monsters’ fourth contest in the team’s past five that went past regulation and Cleveland’s shootout loss extended the Monsters’ season-long point streak to five consecutive games.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday road clash vs. the Chicago Wolves with full coverage, live from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL, underway at 8:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.
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