CLEVELAND, Ohio- Scoring in bunches, that’s the name of the game. On Thursday night, the Cleveland Monsters did as such.
Returning home from a lengthy road-trip, Cleveland was looking to improve to 4-2-1 at The Q early in the campaign. To do so, they would have to skate past their Central Division foe, the Milwaukee Admirals.
In a not-so-ideal start to the game, Bobby Butler beat Cleveland’s goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks for the contest’s first marker. Butler received an entry pass from Emil Pettersson that set him up perfectly for the goal coming at the 8:13 mark of the opening frame. The Monsters responded positively and rather emphatically, scoring two unanswered goals to end the first period with the lead. The first goal came from Calvin Thurkauf, who was the beneficiary of a two-on-one opportunity with teammate Miles Koules. Koules waited until the Admirals’ goaltender Juuse Saros made his commitment and then dumped it to Thurkauf, who potted his fifth goal of the season to tie things up at one apiece. Paul Bittner’s second professional goal made it 2-1 when Bittner received a pass from Carter Camper, who was working from inside the privileged area. Camper fired the puck across the crease of Saros to find his comrade open for the marker at the 18:50 mark.
The second period was a duplicate of the first in terms of momentum. After a scoreless first half of the frame, Milwaukee found life by way of a Cleveland lapse. Pontus Aberg struck just five minutes into the power play off of the Sam Vigneault hooking penalty to tie things up at the 10:44 mark. The goal would not worry Cleveland for long, however. The Monsters would rattle off three straight goals to back the Admirals into a corner. It all started when Aberg was sent to the sin bin for a slashing penalty, opening the door for a Carter Camper power play. Just a few minutes later, Aberg was shown the door with a ten-minute game misconduct that sent him to the showers earlier than he would’ve liked.
Camper would finish with a season-high three-point game, his first as a Monster.
The Aberg exit was really detrimental to his Milwaukee squad, who let up goals to Hayden Hodgson (18:24) and Justin Scott (18:53) right before the end of the middle stanza. Cleveland cruised into the third frame with a 5-2 lead.
Milwaukee would strike late in the third with a Tyler Moy marker at the 15:52 mark of the third period, but Cleveland would hold on for the 5-3 victory and would improve to 4-2-1 at home.
Monsters Head Coach John Madden was pleased with his team’s ability to answer every Milwaukee attempt to get back into the contest.
“That’s one thing we addressed again before the game and the other day in practice,” stated Madden after the game. “We play well for spurts and then we don’t. You can’t do that in any league, especially the American Hockey League.”
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