CLEVELAND, Ohio- It was Marvel Night at The Q for the Cleveland Monsters’ clash with the Grand Rapids Griffins, as the last two Calder Cup Champions squared off in the second battle on the ice in as many days. Though Cleveland was donning some very rad Captain America jerseys, they ran into every superhero’s nightmare: Their kryptonite. Grand Rapids was just two steps ahead of Cleveland at every point of the game on their way to a 2-0 victory.
It started off bad very quickly for the Monsters, as Colin Campbell fired and scored on Matiss Kivlenieks just thirty-one seconds into the opening frame. It was Campbell’s seventh goal of the season and came off assists from Matt Lorito and Dominic Turgeon. Campbell’s goal was followed up later on in the frame by a marker from Evgeny Svechnikov, who netted his third goal of the campaign. Svechnikov received passes from Axel Holmstrom and Robbie Russo, both of whom received assists on the second Griffins score of the game. The period wouldn’t make sense if you just gazed at the shots-on-goal category, as Cleveland doubled the number of shots on net. The Monsters fired off eleven shots at Tom McCollum to no prevail whereas the Griffins scored two goals on Kivlenieks in just five shots.
The two teams would head into the break with the score 2-0 in favor of Grand Rapids, who was showing very early how dangerous they can be when clicking on all cylinders.
Grand Rapids added more salt to the wound in a very testy second period that saw Brett Gallant get tossed for instigating and fighting penalties that led to a game misconduct. Gallant was none too pleased with a violent shot that teammate Calvin Thurkauf took early in the frame and as a result, Gallant stuck up for Thurkauf and was sent to the showers early. That gave the Griffins a seven-minute power play.
While the Griffins did not strike on the lengthy power-play chance, they struck on two even-strength looks for goals, as Dominic Turgeon found the back of the net twice in the frame at the 7:46 and 11:20 marks to make it 4-0 in favor of Grand Rapids.
Carter Camper breathed life into The Q when he finally got a puck past Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum to get Cleveland on the board at the 15:38 mark of the second period. The goal was Camper’s seventh of the year and added to what has been a very start to his homecoming season.
Despite the Camper goal, the Griffins took a 4-1 lead into the final frame of play.
Matt Puempel pushed the lead to 5-1 with a marker at the 7:48 mark and the Griffins were able to cruise to a victory despite back-to-back goals by Miles Koules and Zac Dalpe to make it a 5-3 final.
When discussing losing Joe Pendenza to a suspension this morning due to an altercation last night as well as Brett Gallant in the early stages of the second period, Monsters Head Coach John Madden said it hurts. But he also views it as an opportunity for guys like Bobby MacIntyre.
“It’s part of the game,” Madden said. “It’s another opportunity for another guy to step up.”
That quote can be used for a number of different variables surrounding this team.
The Monsters hit the road for a Tuesday clash against Rockford at 8 pm.
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