Tony Brown's Playoff Notebook (4.18.19)
Tony’s Playoff Notebook
Thursday, April 18th
Practice – OBM Arena, Strongsville, OH
On the eve of the team’s first postseason appearance since the Monsters’ Calder Cup run in 2016, Cleveland’s final full practice prior to their North Division Semi-Final series vs. the Syracuse Crunch saw a pair of defenseman return to full participant-status, a highly-touted fresh face make his Monsters debut, and a determined bunch make their way to Central New York to embark on an entirely new postseason quest.
A quick programming note - be sure to join Jock Callander and myself for game one of the best-of-five game North Division Semi-Final as we’ll bring you every second of the action, live from Syracuse’s War Memorial Arena, tomorrow night at 7:00 pm EST on Alt 99.1, AHLTV and the Monsters Hockey Network in the first-ever postseason meeting between the Monsters and the Crunch.
23 Derek Barach, 28 Zac Dalpe, 25 Alex Broadhurst
22 Sonny Milano, 55 Mark Letestu, 10 Dan DeSalvo
72 Ryan MacInnis, 19 Liam Foudy, 88 Kole Sherwood
27 Calvin Thurkauf, 21 Sam Vigneault, 82 Kevin Stenlund, 20 Justin Scott
44 Brett Gallant, 38 Nikita Korostelev, 57 Paul Bittner, 16 Miles Koules
- Defenseman Tommy Cross and Garret Cockerill both participated fully without non-contact designations.
- On the ice for the first time with Cleveland was Columbus’ first-round selection (18th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, center Liam Foudy, 19, reassigned to Cleveland by Columbus from the OHL’s London Knights (see below) on Thursday morning.
- Each of the Monsters’ eight defenseman were in action on Thursday, as well as each of Cleveland’s three healthy net-minders, Brad Thiessen, Matiss Kivlenieks and Jeff Smith.
- Team captain Nathan Gerbe and goaltender Jean-Francois Berube remain on the shelf with long-term injuries.
THE FOUDY FACTOR
As mentioned, Toronto native Liam Foudy joined Cleveland on Thursday, embarking on his professional career following a three-year OHL stint with the London Knights. In 185 career appearances for the Knights, Foudy registered 69-54-123 with 73 penalty minutes and a +38 rating and tallied 36-32-68 with 32 penalty minutes and a +39 rating in 61 appearances for London this year, serving as one of the Knights’ assistant captains.
Just like many other AHL and NHL teams this time of year, the Monsters’ dressing room has seen several recent additions in the form of defenseman Keoni Texeira (ECHL-Wichita), goaltender Jeff Smith (NCAA-St. Cloud State) and center Liam Foudy (OHL-London), among late regular-season arrivals like Alexandre Texier, since departed for the Blue Jackets, and former Mercyhurst University captain Derek Barach. On Thursday, several Monsters players weighed in on how new additions late in the year can provide a helpful spark of competition.
Tommy Cross, D
“I think it’s new energy, new talents, some new skills. I think it pushes everyone to be better themselves and we’ve made the most of adding a few bodies and even losing a few bodies. It can be adversity for you or it can make you stronger – I think we’ve used it in the right way and it puts us in a good spot.”
Doyle Somerby, D
“I think we have a great locker room. It starts with the veteran leaders and it goes right down on through rest of the room…We’re pretty welcoming. All we want to do is win. We want to bring a Calder Cup back to Cleveland and whoever’s going to help we just want to put in the lineup and get ready to go.”
Sam Vigneault, F
“It’s always good, it’s a little bit of competition between guys in that we all want to get ice time but at the end of the day we all want to win, it’s why we’re in the playoffs…It’s good that we have that many guys if we have injuries or whatever it is, that they can jump in.”