Monsters Chased Down by Checkers in Shootout, 3-2

Scott, Maletta score, Forsberg stops 24 in Cleveland’s first loss to Charlotte this year.

CHARLOTTE, NC – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, were defeated by the Charlotte Checkers in a shootout on Friday at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC by a final score of 3-2. With the loss, the Monsters are currently 17-13-1-3 this season and with a .559 points percentage, remain alone in fourth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.

The Checkers grabbed a 1-0 lead at 1:56 of the opening period when Andrew Poturalski re-directed a five-on-five left-point offering past Cleveland backstop Anton Forsberg. The Monsters generated a response at 5:09, however, when Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano combined to feed Justin Scott for an even-strength rebound goal from point-blank range that leveled the score at one apiece.

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In the middle frame, Checkers captain Patrick Brown put Charlotte in front by a 2-1 score at 11:20 with a rebound tally at even-strength before Jordan Maletta tied the game at two with a five-on-five finish, assisted by Milano and Ryan Stanton at 9:36 of the third. After a scoreless overtime period, the Monsters failed to convert through four shootout rounds against Checkers net-minder Alex Nedeljkovic, and in the bottom of the fourth round, Charlotte’s Valentin Zykov beat Forsberg to deliver the Checkers a 3-2 victory on home ice.

With the shootout loss, Forsberg fell to 12-6-2 in net for Cleveland this season despite a 24-save performance while Nedeljokvic improved to 4-12-0 between the pipes for Charlotte by virtue of a 42-save outing and four additional shootout denials.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday rematch vs. the Checkers with full coverage, live from Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, underway at 6:00 pm on 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.