Monsters Rocket Past Hershey on Moon Landing Night, 5-2

Texier leads way with three points as Stenlund’s game-winner delights 15,290 fans at The Q

The AHL’s Cleveland Monsters defeated the Hershey Bears in front of 15,290 fans on Monsters Moon Landing Night at The Q on Saturday by a final score of 5-2. With the win, the Monsters are now 32-26-7-1 overall this season and with 72 points, remain alone in fifth place in the AHL’s North Division standings, just two points behind the fourth place Belleville Senators for the division’s final playoff spot with ten games remaining in the regular season.

Cleveland’s Tommy Cross provided an even-strength goal at 11:21 of the first period thanks to feeds from Alexandre Texier and Mark Letestu to make it 1-0 Monsters, but Hershey’s Steve Whitney responded with a five-on-five equalizer less than one minute later at 12:18 to tie the game at one through 20 minutes of play.

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In the second, the Bears grabbed their first lead just 13 seconds into the frame by virtue of a Mike Sgarbossa five-on-five strike, but Cleveland countered with an Alexandre Texier marker mere seconds later at 0:47 made possible by even-strength helpers from Dillon Simpson and Dan DeSalvo. Then, Kevin Stenlund put the home team back in front at 14:05 when he provided an unassisted five-on-five tally to make it 3-2 Monsters prior to the final stanza.

The third period saw Cleveland’s Zac Dalpe net a power-play goal at 6:43 with DeSalvo and Texier supplying a slick setup as the Monsters capped a 5-2 victory with an unassisted extra-man empty-net score from Letestu at 18:20.

Monsters goaltender Brad Thiessen improved to 7-5-2 this season following a 33-save performance, while Hershey’s Ilya Samsonov fell to 17-13-2 in net this year despite a 33-save showing.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Sunday rematch vs. the Bears with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 3:00 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.