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Monsters Monday: Stenlund returns in Cleveland

Blue Jackets' top farm team gets points in three of four

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

A look at the past week on the farm for the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, including points in three of four games despite a two-city, three-game road trip..


Feb. 12: 5-2 win vs. Rochester: Cleveland dominated the third period, scoring four goals to earn a home win vs. the Americans. Kole Sherwood and Vitaly Abramov each scored twice while Paul Bittner added a goal and an assist and Nikita Korostelev had two helpers. Jean-Francois Berube made 26 saves.

Feb. 15: 2-1 win at Belleville (shootout): In a defensive showdown, Korostelev scored the only goal of regulation or overtime for the Monsters, tallying off assists from Sam Vigneault and Tommy Cross. Berube made 20 saves then stopped two of three shots in the shootout, while Korostelev and Mark Letestu scored in the skills competition.

Feb. 16: 4-2 loss at Belleville: Cleveland's two-game win streak came to an end despite a 37-25 shots on goal edge as the B-Sens scored twice in the first and twice in the third. Ryan Collins and Justin Scott scored, while Brad Thiessen had 21 saves.

Feb. 17: 5-4 loss at Utica (overtime): Cleveland earned a point in a wild game as the Monsters scored the first three goals, the Comets got the next four, and Vigneault scored the tying goal with 7:00 to play. Doyle Somerby scored twice with an assist and Kevin Stenlund also tallied, while Berube made 28 saves.


Forwards Nathan Gerbe, Zac Dalpe, Sonny Milano and Calvin Thurkauf continued to be out for the Monsters, while Alex Broadhurst joined the injury list as well last week. Mark Letestu returned from the Blue Jackets but Kole Sherwood and Eric Robinson were called up to Columbus. The team got good news on the injury front, though, when Stenlund returned Feb. 12 after missing a few weeks and had a goal and an assist in his first four games back.

Abramov's two goals vs. Rochester gave him four in a two-game stretch.

The team sent goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to Kalamazoo of the ECHL. This year in the AHL, Kivlenieks is 4-4-0 with one shutout, a 3.71 goals-against average and a .873 save percentage. He gave up two goals on 23 shots in relief Sunday at Toledo.

Somerby now has seven goals from the blue line this season.

Vigneault has a goal and three assists in his last six games.

Letestu played in his 800th pro game Sunday vs. Utica.

Team leaders through 53 games  

Points: Nathan Gerbe 32, Zac Dalpe 29, Alex Broadhurst 29, Adam Clendening 28, Mark Letestu 27

Goals: Zac Dalpe 15, Mark Letestu 13, Eric Robinson 12, Vitaly Abramov 12, Kole Sherwood 11

Assists: Adam Clendening 25, Nathan Gerbe 22, Alex Broadhurst 21, Tommy Cross 18, Paul Bittner 18


Standings Update  

At 24-22-6-1, Cleveland is now sixth in the eight-team North Division with 55 points, three behind Belleville and five behind fourth-place Toronto.

Up Next  

Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Rochester, 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 22 vs. Milwaukee, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 24 vs. Milwaukee, 3 p.m.

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