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On Saturday night 19,665 fans witnessed the Lake Erie Monster win their first ever Calder Cup Championship in Lake Erie Monsters history as they defeated the Hershey Bears 1-0 in overtime.

This is the tenth time that the Calder Cup has called Cleveland its home, with the formerly known Cleveland Barons winning the cup nine times the last being in 1964.

The question that now needs to be addressed is does this Calder Cup Championship really mean anything to the city of Cleveland?

Already on social media, it’s been evident that a lot of Clevelander’s do not seem to think that this even matters. “They’re just a minor league team” or “It doesn’t count because they’re not true professionals”.

I can guarantee you that every single one of those Monsters fans that packed the Quicken Loans Arena Saturday evening will be more than happy to tell you different. From the first puck drop, the entire arena was deafening and you could barely hear anything.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers are attempting to hold on for dear life in the NBA Finals down 3-1 to the defending NBA Champions Golden State Warriors, the Lake Erie Monsters came in and picked up a city when they really needed it. The night before drew to a close the fans of Cleveland, Ohio were down in the dumps as the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves unable to take care of home court losing Game 4 of the NBA Finals 108-97.

However once Saturday night came, you almost forgot for a brief second about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just as the overtime period was coming down to the final seconds Oliver Bjorkstrand grabs the puck and sends it into the back of the net with 1.9 seconds left in OT, the entire Quicken Loans Arena became unglued. Don’t believe me, watch for yourself.

For a lot of Cleveland fans this could be a moment of “I may never see a championship here in Cleveland it may be my only chance”.

When you break it down, the Monsters play in the AHL not the NHL. With that being said does this championship lose credibility? Does it fall under the same category if the Cleveland Gladiators were to win the Arena Bowl or how about the Cleveland Crunch whose efforts went unnoticed by the general fan base when they won 3 championships back in 1994, 1996 and 1999.

Some of you may be asking yourself who the hell are the Cleveland Crunch? It was a soccer team that played in the National Premiere Soccer League at the Wohlstein Centrer, previously known as the Convocation Center.

Maybe this wasn’t the Indians hoisting up the Commissioner’s trophy, the Cavs with the Larry O’Brien trophy and the Browns with the Vince Lombardi trophy but for the first time since 1964 the Cleveland area had a reason to celebrate and it was all thanks to the Lake Erie Monsters.

To some of you this may have meant nothing at all, but to some of us true Cleveland fans this truly did mean something and it was special to be a part of. It meant that hey, maybe there is a chance we can break this curse that’s been looming this city. As a passionate Clevelander and an avid hockey fan it meant something to me.

Thank you to the organization of the Lake Erie Monsters for giving this city a reason to celebrate even if it was for a short period of time. I can tell you this though be prepared to see more Lake Erie Monster apparel on the streets of Cleveland.



  1. Vince McKee

    June 13, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    It means something to me as well. Great article!
    If you were there on Saturday night, and felt that energy, you would agree, it was amazing!

  2. Jim

    June 13, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    NHL size crowd 19,665 and atmosphere and yet another Calder Cup for Cleveland. Yes it counts, just like it did when Cleveland only had the Browns, Indians and Barons (AHL) and the Browns and Barons took turns winning championships every year. Fortunately those who believe it far outnumber the selfcentered ones who dont and losers in the horrible “sports” talk radio world.

  3. Tim

    June 13, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I think it means something to enough people. We SOLD OUT Quicken Loans Arena. 19,665. I never heard that place so loud when Bjorkstrand put that puck in the net.

  4. Donna

    June 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Great article. It was a great game and Cleveland should be proud of the Monster’s. We may not see another championship in this city.

  5. Brian

    June 13, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Great article indeed! It means so much to me as well. Hockey is my all time favorite sport. Being affiliated with the Blue Jackets we can see what the future can bring with this unique and talented group of guys! Now that we have broken the curse let’s cheer on our Cavs (tough) and Indians, who look promising so far this season!

  6. Bajas

    June 14, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I have been apart of hockey for a long time have never witnessed to see the cup raised live as I apart of the sell out crowd at the Q and the whole season as a 7 yr season ticket holder Blue Jackets future looks bright

  7. Natalie Trimpey

    June 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Oh my gosh, this is the same conversation I was having with my sister. Some people were raining on our parade and these are the exact same topics we brought up. Even if you aren’t a Monster’s fan can’t you at least be happy for the team, the fans, and the city? I’m not a Cavs fan but you can bet I’d be happy for everyone if they won the championship!

  8. Von

    June 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I was born and raised in Ohio, but I have lived in Colorado since 1979. I will always support my home state athletic teams. I couldn’t be prouder than to see the Lake Erie Monsters ( best hockey sweater ever) bring home a championship cup!

  9. Fred

    June 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Hell yeah it matters

  10. Bob

    June 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

    The Monsters Championship means a ton. I feel that the huge lack of notoriety and respect for the Monsters lies in 1) lack of promotion by ownership, 2) lack of coverage in local media (including the Plain Dealer), and 3) the apparent “second class” treatment by ownership. I went to about a dozen games this season, including 4 playoff games. All I’ve heard is “The Cavs, The Cavs.” 6 years ago people were burning LBJ jerseys and mockups of him in effigy. Apparently this is all better now that they (Cavs) won the title the other night….such fickle people/fans. Sadly hockey in this city, despite it’s long successful AHL history, will be relegated to the bowels of local media (when they even report on it). I was born/raised in Chicago, and until 2010 when the Blackhawks became relevant again, they seemed to get little attention, ranked behind the Cubs, Sox, Bears and Bulls. During the dark years the old Stadium wouldn’t even be filled, but there was still a “core” fan base. Hopefully going forward the Monsters will get more respect and attention, however I doubt it. However, true Monster/hockey fans will continue to follow and support their team.

  11. vicki

    June 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    It means everything to a lot of people. It meant the world to me I couldn’t have been happier it was a moment that will forever be engraved in my mind. I was so overwhelmingly happy. Sadly it means nothing to the local media. To them AHL hockey is less important than high school sports. The local media diminished the accomplishments of a very fine group of young men who poured there blood, sweat and tears all over that ice all season long. To them I say you are fools! I will not let the media take away my excitement!!!

  12. Andria Redlin

    June 25, 2016 at 8:27 am

    As a longtime resident of Cleveland, I am appalled that the Monsters do not receive the recognition they deserve. For crying out loud, can we at least see some Monsters merchandise sold at stores?! All I see is Cavs, Indians, and (puke!) Browns gear. This year, the Monsters have put us back on the map FIRST, before the Cavs, so give them your support! It’s a shame the such a great team has one TINY corner relegated to the back of the second floor of the team shop for their merchandise. As a new hockey fan myself, I deserve to have the option of having just as much selection as any Cavs, Indians, or Browns fan. Not to mention that it helps Cleveland’s economy when a team does well and is well-supported.

    • Sue

      June 25, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      I agree that the Monster’s get no attention from the media in Cleveland. These men play their hearts and souls out during their games. But never get any mention,except a “Oh by the the Monsters won their game.” I don’t care what division or league they play in. They deserve as much media attention as all the other teams that play in or for this city. Great job Monsters !!! You were the 1st.

  13. steve

    June 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I think it was a great win, for the city and the team.
    minor league or not, we celebrate college sports teams don’t we ?

  14. Emily

    June 30, 2016 at 6:14 am

    It means alot to mean. I am a big hockey fan. I follow the Columbus Bluejackets and saw a few of the Monster’s players in Columbus. These are professional athletes thru and thru. They won the cup and showed the Cavs how to play as a team and how to get the job done. Great article.

    • Emily

      June 30, 2016 at 6:15 am

      oops means alot to ME

  15. Jim Vickers

    July 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

    As a transplanted Bostonian, It meant something to me and my son. We were at games 3 & 4, as we’ll as several previous round games. I’ve seen a lot of hockey. And, what was on display during the Calder Cup playoffs was TOP-NOTCH. Skating, checking, playmaking and goaltending by many guys you will see in the NHL in the coming seasons. Well worth the price of admission

  16. Cali_Eagle

    August 6, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    It’s always good to see a Cleveland team win a championship. Of any kind. I just wish they were called the Cleveland Barons and wore the old Blue and White, along with the old “Aristocrats of Hockey” monocled logo of circa 1964, rather than the abominable, it’s all about marketing and merchandising, inspired name “Lake Erie Monsters” yecccchhh!.

  17. Cali_Eagle

    August 6, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Ohhhh… re the logo, I forgot the Top Hat along with the monocle that the Cleveland Baron used to wear!

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