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Monsters Clash with Comets at the Q

In the third of four meetings between the two teams this season, the Cleveland Monsters, affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, drop the puck vs. the Utica Comets, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, on Sunday with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 3:00 pm on SportsTime Ohio, Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network.

MONSTERS PRE-SCOUT: Following a 2-6 home loss to the Utica Comets on Saturday, the Cleveland Monsters enter today’s game at 17-12-4-1 on the season. With 39 points, the Monsters currently rank fourth in the AHL’s North Division standings and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland is led in scoring by LW Nathan Gerbe (8-20-28), C Zac Dalpe (14-13-27) and C Mark Letestu (10-12-22).

COMETS PRE-SCOUT: In the wake of a 6-2 road win over the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday, the Utica Comets enter today’s game at 19-16-2-1 on the season. With 41 points, the Comets currently rank third in the AHL’s North Division standings and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Utica is led in scoring by LW Reid Boucher (17-14-31), RW Zack MacEwen (14-15-29) and C Tanner Kero (10-18-28).

SEASON SERIES: Sunday marks the second of four meetings between the Monsters and Comets this season and the second of two tilts between the two teams at The Q this year. Cleveland shows a 1-1-0-0 record vs. Utica overall with a -3 goal differential (6/9). At home, the Monsters are 0-1-0-0 vs. the Comets with a -4 goal differential (2/6).

 

MONSTERS GOALTENDERS

35 J-F Berube
OVERALL:     

23 GP, (11-9-3), 0 SO, 2.94 GAA, .902 S%

LAST APPEARANCE:     

(23/28) in first 40:00 of 2-6 L vs UTI 1/5/19

HEAD-TO-HEAD:     

2 GP, (1-1-0), 0 SO, 4.80 GAA, .873 S%

AT HOME:     

11 GP, (4-5-2), 0 SO, .888 S%

 

39 Brad Thiessen
OVERALL:     

6 GP, (3-1-1), 0 SO, 3.03 GAA, .892 S%

LAST APPEARANCE:     

(11/12) in 20:00 of relief in 2-6 L vs UTI 1/5/19

HEAD-TO-HEAD: 1 GP, (0-0-0), 0 SO, 3.00 GAA, .917 S%
AT HOME:     

4 GP, (3-0-0), 0 SO, .924 S%

 

80 Matiss Kivlenieks
OVERALL:     

10 GP, (3-2-1), 1 SO, 3.31 GAA, .888 S%

LAST APPEARANCE:      (27/31) in 0-4 L vs ROC 12/26/18
HEAD-TO-HEAD:

N/A

AT HOME:     

 7 GP, (1-2-1), 0 SO, .860 S%

 

COMETS GOALTENDERS

31 Ivan Kulbakov
OVERALL:     

14 GP, (6-6-2), 0 SO, 3.82 GAA, .884 S%

LAST APPEARANCE:     

(28/30) in 6-2 W at CLE 1/5/19

HEAD-TO-HEAD:     

2 GP, (1-1-0), 0 SO, 3.08 GAA, .889 S%

ON THE ROAD:     

9 GP, (5-2-2), 0 SO, .894 S%

 

32 Richard Bachman
OVERALL:     

9 GP, (5-4-0), 0 SO, 3.76 GAA, .884 S%

LAST APPEARANCE:     

(27/27) in first 49:40 of 2-1 W at SPR 12/21/18

HEAD-TO-HEAD:     

N/A

ON THE ROAD:     

 5 GP, (4-1-0), 0 SO, .896 S%

 

33 Alex Sakellaropoulos
OVERALL:     

N/A

LAST APPEARANCE:     

N/A

HEAD-TO-HEAD:     

N/A

ON THE ROAD:     

 N/A

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

  • FAMILIAR FACES: Cleveland will need to shut down three former Monsters on Sunday vs. Utica. D Jaime Sifers posted 11-28-39 in two seasons with the Monsters from 2015-17 and helped the Monsters claim the 2016 Calder Cup. Meanwhile G Ivan Kulbakov went 0-5-0 in eight appearances for Cleveland last season and F Vincent Arseneau appeared in 24 games for the Monsters spanning parts of two seasons from 2012-14.
  • LEANING ON LETESTU: Cleveland C Mark Letestu is scoring at a better than point-per-game pace vs. Utica this season (2 GP, 2-1-3) and over his past six appearances (6 GP, 1-7-8).
  • MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY: Monsters D Doyle Somerby currently ranks in the AHL’s top-five among defensemen in shooting percentage (16.7%, 4th).