Back-to-back wins against the Syracuse Crunch have the Cleveland Monsters off to a good start.
The Cleveland Monsters are coming off a disappointing year which saw the team win just 28 games and miss the playoffs with just 69 points on the season. Expectations were not necessarily high for this season, but they find themselves in a good spot early on. Through the first two games the Cleveland Monsters have come out on top and are tied atop the AHL North Division with four points.
The Monsters hold a slim two goal advantage in the goals for and against department (11-9) and this does not include any scored in a shootout. The Monsters have converted on four of six shootout attempts while their opponent (Syracuse) only made two of seven. While winning in a shootout fashion is not sustainable, being able to do so early is a nice boost for the season.
The leading goalscorer for the Monsters this season is Kirill Marchenko with three goals including one shootout goal. Emil Bemstron is second with two goals, also one shootout goal. Trey Fix-Wolansky, Marcus Bjork, Carson Meyer, and Dillon Simpson each have scored one goal. Fix-Wolansky’s goal was a shootout goal while the other three Cleveland players scored in regulation.
Jet Greaves was in net for both games and has saved 60 of 69 shots on goal and five of seven in shootouts. Greaves’ .870 save percentage and 4.16 goals against average are far from ideal and improvement in this area is needed.
Cleveland will head out on their first road trip of the season this weekend. The Monsters begin with a single game against the Utica Comets. They will then take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for two games over the next two days. Cleveland’s road trip actually lasts the rest of the month, presenting an early test for the Monsters. Should they be successful it would be an encouraging sign for what could be a promising season.