CLEVELAND, Ohio- Home, sweet home?
That wasn’t the case when the Monsters took the ice on Friday night in game one of their longest homestand of the season. The team prepared to take on Texas for the first of their two-game set against the Stars in a very important homestand. With sixteen games left in the season and finding themselves on the outside looking in the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Monsters would have to get red-hot fast.
That was the opposite of tonight’s result, as Texas and former Monster Dillon Heatherington took it to Cleveland.
The game started off in a scoreless first frame which showed good signs early for the Monsters, the best look coming off of Sonny Milano swipe-and-go which led to a saved shot from the left faceoff circle. Momentum seemed to sway as the time ran down in the opening period, as Texas got shot-happy near the end of the frame. Texas would head into the break with a shots-on-goal advantage of 10-9.
The Stars would do half of their damage in the second stanza, striking for two markers in the frame. Caleb Herbert found the back of the net first for the Stars, as his mid-level shot went right past Anton Forsberg’s right side to put the Stars up 1-0. Justin Dowling would continue the Stars’ offensive success with a goal not too far behind, scoring at the 15:30 mark. The Stars would head into the break up 2-0.
Cleveland could not find any ounce of offense, as the Stars were just rolling by the middle of the third period. Zac Dalpe tried to get his teammates fired up with a little St. Patrick’s Day fisticuffs, but it was to no prevail. Austin Fyten found his way to the low slot and sent his backhander top-shelf on a shot that caught Forsberg off-guard. Gavin Bayreuther would have a first game to remember himself, as the newly-signed Dallas Stars’ prospect fired a dagger from the left faceoff circle into the right corner pocket of the goal. Texas would take a 4-0 win in Cleveland, one that definitely hurts the team this late in the year.
Head Coach John Madden summed up tonight in one sentence:
“We’re in a playoff battle here and there’s too many passengers.”
Cleveland sits at 27-27-3-4 and is in 6th place in the Central Division. With only fifteen games left, the time for a winning streak is now. The Monsters play Texas tomorrow at 7pm.
The Monsters play Texas tomorrow at 7pm at The Q. Follow @NEOSportsInside, @NEOSI_Sprouse and myself @Eli_Mooneyham for everything Cleveland Monsters-related.