Monsters Storm Back, Shock Rocket in Shootout, 5-4
LAVAL, QC - The AHL's Cleveland Monsters defeated the Laval Rocket in a shootout on Saturday at Laval's Place Bell by a final score of 5-4. With the win, the Monsters are now 19-16-4-1 overall this season and with 43 points, now reside in fifth place in the AHL's North Division standings.
Cleveland's Kole Sherwood delivered the Monsters a 1-0 lead with an even-strength tally at 1:37 of the opening period with Eric Robinson and Zac Dalpe collecting assists on the play. The Rocket responded, however, to tie the game at one at 6:12 of the first, courtesy of a five-on-five finish from Alex Belzile, before Cleveland's Mark Letestu placed the Monsters back in front at 16:45 with a power-play goal set up by Justin Scott and Alex Broadhurst.
In the middle frame, Rocket blue-liner Xavier Ouellet leveled the score at two at 14:10 with a four-on-four conversion, but Cleveland grabbed their third lead of the contest at 17:16 when Vitaly Abramov tallied an even-strength marker following a slick passing play from Maxime Fortier and Sam Vigneault.
The third period saw Laval rattle off back-to-back even-strength goals from Daniel Audette at 12:12 and Alexandre Grenier at 15:21 before Cleveland's Ryan Collins notched his first career professional goal at 16:51, assisted by Scott and Abramov, to force overtime at 4-4. After a scoreless extra session, the Monsters and Rocket took part in a four-round shootout until a Broadhurst goal in the bottom of the fourth round lifted Cleveland to a 5-4 victory.
Monsters goaltender Jean-Francois Berube stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced, along with three of four in the shootout, to improve to 12-12-3 this season while Laval's Connor LaCouvee fell to 4-1-1 in net following a 34-save performance.
Next up for the Monsters, it's a Wednesday home clash vs. the Toronto Marlies with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.
Cleveland Monsters Holiday Packs are on sale now and include exclusive Monsters Holiday socks, a Monsters snow globe and equal number of Disney on Ice tickets at The Q! Holiday Packs start as low as $54 and can be purchased today by visiting www.clevelandmonsters.com/holiday or by calling the Monsters sales and service team at 216-420-0000. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monstershockey, and on Instagram @monstershockey.
The Cleveland Monsters are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Chairman and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League playing at Quicken Loans Arena and the Canton Charge of the NBA G League playing in nearby Canton, Ohio at the Canton Civic Center.
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Cleveland Monsters celebrate a goal against the Laval Rocket
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