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Monsters Face Chicago for First Time this Season

In the first of eight meetings between the two teams this season, the Cleveland Monsters, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck vs. the Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, on Friday with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 0-4 road loss to the Manitoba Moose on Saturday, the Cleveland Monsters enter tonight’s game at 7-8-2-2 on the season. With a .474 points percentage, the Monsters currently rank sixth in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 13th in the Western Conference standings. Cleveland is led in scoring by C Carter Camper (4-8-12), RW Miles Koules (5-5-10), and C Sam Vigneault (3-5-8).

WOLVES PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 3-1 home win over the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday, the Chicago Wolves enter tonight’s game at 6-11-4-1 overall this season. With a .386 points percentage, the Wolves currently rank seventh in the AHL’s Central Division standings and 15th in the Western Conference. Chicago is led in scoring by LW Teemu Pulkkinen (8-13-21), C Brandon Pirri (6-10-16), and RW Paul Thompson (6-6-12).

SEASON SERIES: Friday marks the first of eight meetings between the Monsters and Wolves this season and the first of four meetings between the two teams at The Q this year. So far this season, the Monsters are 0-0-0-0 vs. Chicago both overall and at home with an even goal differential (0/0) vs. the Wolves.

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

Matiss Kivlenieks
 OVERALL:      9 GP, (2-5-1), 0 SO, 2.97 GAA, .887 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (26/30) in 0-4 at MB (12/2/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
AT HOME:      4 GP, (1-2-1), 0 SO, .910 SV%

 

Ivan Kulbakov
OVERALL:      14 GP, (7-6-0), 0 SO, 3.36 GAA, .908 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (31/34) in QC (ECHL) 5-3 W at KC (ECHL) (12/2/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
AT HOME:      N/A

WOLVES GOALTENDERS

Kasimir Kaskisuo
OVERALL:      12 GP, (4-7-1), 1 SO, 2.57 GAA, .910 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (15/16 IN 3-1 W vs SD (12/6/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
ON THE ROAD:      6 GP, (2-4-0), 1 SO, .919 SV%

 

Michael Leighton
OVERALL:      13 GP, (3-4-4), 0 SO, 3.44 GAA, .857 SV%
LAST APPEARANCE:      (0/2) in first 5:48 of 2-5 L vs. GR (12/2/17)
HEAD-TO-HEAD:      N/A
ON THE ROAD:      6 GP, (1-1-4), 0 SO, .868 SV%

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • WELCOME HOME: Chicago C T.J. Tynan returns to Cleveland on Friday, a place where he logged 18-69-87 with 72 penalty minutes and a +21 rating in 148 appearances for the Monsters spanning two seasons from 2015-17. Tynan also added 1-5-6 with eight penalty minutes and a -8 rating in 17 appearances for the Monsters during the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, helping the team claim the Calder Cup as AHL Playoff Champions.
  • FLURRY OF MOVEMENT: The Monsters welcomed LW Sonny Milano (assigned by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets), D Jacob Graves (reassigned to Cleveland by Columbus from the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards), LW Terry Broadhurst (signed 25-game PTO with Cleveland), and G Ivan Kulbakov (recalled by Cleveland from loan to Quad City) to the Monsters roster following Saturday’s 0-4 road loss to the Manitoba Moose and prior to Friday’s home tilt vs. the Chicago Wolves.
  • STRIKE FIRST: Cleveland has scored the first goal in only five of the team’s 19 games played so far this season, the fewest of any AHL team this year. However, when the Monsters have drawn first blood this season, Cleveland is 4-0-0-1 thus far.