Monsters Rally Past Rampage, 6-3
Besse posts three assists, Kujawinski scores twice, Zatkoff earns win in front of 11,226 at The Q.
The Cleveland Monsters, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, defeated the San Antonio Rampage on Friday in front of 11,226 fans at The Q by a final score of 6-3. With the win, claimed in front of Cleveland’s 15th home crowd of 10,000 fans or more this season, the Monsters improved to 24-38-7-3 overall this season and with a .403 points percentage, remain alone in seventh place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.
The Monsters claimed a 1-0 lead on Friday when Ryan Kujawinski netted an even-strength goal just 50 seconds into the game on feeds from Grant Besse and Cameron Gaunce before San Antonio’s Turner Ottenbreit tied the game at one with a five-on-five finish at 4:32. The Rampage earned their first advantage at 15:40 of the first by way of an Alex Bilzile power-play goal, but Cleveland rallied to tie the game at two heading into the middle stanza thanks to an even-strength tally from Paul Bittner at 18:37 made possible by Ryan Collins’ lone assist.
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In the second, the Rampage claimed a 3-2 lead at 3:56 with an Andrew Agozzino marker, but the Monsters rattled off four unanswered even-strength goals the rest of the way in the frame, from Jacob Graves at 4:19, assisted by Besse and Phil Lane, from Calvin Thurkauf at 7:12, set up by Jordan Schroeder, from Jefferson Dahl at 9:21, thanks to Brady Austin’s lone helper, and from Kujawinski at 11:15, courtesy of Besse, to take a 6-3 lead heading into the final period. After a scoreless third, Cleveland snapped a four-game home losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Rampage.
Cleveland net-minder Jeff Zatkoff improved to 4-8-2 in net this season by virtue of a 27-save performance while San Antonio’s Spencer Martin fell to 14-15-4 after allowing four goals on 16 first-period shots before being relieved by Adam Werner who stopped eight of the ten shots he faced for the Rampage the rest of the way.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Sunday rematch vs. the Rampage with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 3:00 pm on FOX Sports Ohio, Alt 99.1, and the Monsters Hockey Network.
Single game tickets for all remaining 2017-18 games (April 8th, 12th, and 13th) are on sale starting at only $10 per seat! Additionally, 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, an exclusive Monsters’ jersey and free tickets to all remaining 2017-18 games, are now available for as little as $32 per month! 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, visiting The Q Box Office 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 at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.