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Hannikainen Tallies Three Points On His Birthday, Monsters Defeat Iowa 4-0 For Fifth Straight Win

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Cleveland Monsters and Iowa Wild prepared for one of the biggest division games of the season on Sunday, as the two teams took the ice on Sunday afternoon with the standings showing Cleveland in 4th place and Iowa in 5th place. The winner of this game would get that much closer to a Calder Cup playoff spot. The Monsters would grab a 4-0 win on Sunday afternoon to keep their winning streak.

The Monsters and Wild would play a very defensive opening frame, as the teams would need half of the frame to combine for eight shots on goal. The Wild would lead the shots on goal category 15-11 after the first period, but the Monsters would have so many excellent looks in the frame. Cleveland would head into the locker room looking for ways to finish their good shots with a goal.

The Monsters would continue a strong showing in the middle stanza as of late with a goal at the 7:20 mark of the frame. Sonny Milano found an opportunity where he could show off his finesse skills, going top-shelf on the right side of Alex Stalock to beat the goaltender with a shot that elevated up over his shoulder. Cleveland would head into the break leading 1-0 despite trailing in shots on goal 29-24, as the Monsters would show off a smarter array of shots through forty minutes.

Markus Hannikainen would take advantage of Stalock coming out of his cage to play the puck, as Hannikainen would snag the puck off of the end board. He would then shovel a pass to T.J. Tynan, who would score the second goal of the evening for Cleveland. Below is footage of the goal at the 4:28 mark:

Hannikainen would later say that the pass was not necessarily planned.

“I actually tried to get it in from the goalie, so I was trying to shoot from the goalie and get it in but it stayed there and Tyns (Tynan) came in and put it in.”

The Monsters would net two empty-netters to finish off the win, as Justin Scott would net the first off of a lead pass from Jordan Maletta at the 16:21 mark. Hannikainen would finish off his birthday with one of the crazier goals of the season.

Birthday luck?  “Yea maybe.” said Hannikainen. “To be honest, I didn’t even see. I just threw it towards the net and it went in so I was happy.”

The Monsters improve to 32-27-3-4 on the season and welcome Charlotte to The Q on Tuesday for a two-game set.

Elijah Mooneyham has been a dedicated sports fan his whole life. Born and raised in Cleveland, he has his best days when his hometown teams are winning. Elijah is currently on-air talent/producer on two shows, The Main Event and The Moon Hour, where you can find on AllSportsCleveland.com. He also has an insane passion for professional wrestling, so catch his opinions on the world of professional wrestling.

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