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Monsters Monday: Abramov turning it on in Cleveland

Rookie forward posts two-goal game Sunday for AHL affiliate

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 just one win in four tries for the Monsters.


Feb. 5: 3-1 loss at Charlotte: Cleveland outshot the Checkers 33-26 but got just one goal, with it coming off the stick of Paul Bittner for his sixth of the year. Assists on the third-period power-play goal went to Dan DeSalvo and Alex Broadhurst. Matiss Kivlenieks made 23 saves in net.

Feb. 6: 5-1 win at Charlotte: The Monsters rebounded from the first loss to the Checkers with a win a night later behind 40 saves from veteran Jean-Francois Berube. Kole Sherwood, Justin Scott, Doyle Somerby, Ryan MacInnis and Eric Robinson all scored. Scott and MacInnis each finished with a goal and an assist while Nikita Korostelev had two assists.

Feb. 9: 3-2 loss vs. Binghamton: The Monsters returned home to a welcome sight, as 16,672 fans packed Quicken Loans Arena for Cleveland Sports Legends Night. But the Devils got the win on Eric Tangradi's goal with 1:08 to play. Sherwood and Sam Vigneault scored for the Monsters while Berube had 25 saves while taking on Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, a top prospect who has a 2.37 GAA with New Jersey this year.

Feb. 10: 4-3 loss to Binghamton (overtime): Cleveland outshot the visitors 44-24 and got two goals from Vitaly Abramov, but the Devils tallied in overtime to take the win. Korostelev had the other goal for Cleveland and added two assists for a three-point night. Kivlenieks started the game but allowed three goals on seven shots, while Berube made 16 saves in relief.

READ MORE: Abramov finding his way in Cleveland


Forwards Nathan Gerbe, Zac Dalpe, Sonny Milano, Calvin Thurkauf and Kevin Stenlund continued to be out for the Monsters, while Mark Letestu spent a Western Conference road trip with Columbus. That left the team without three of its top four point scorers and five of its top seven goal scorers.

The 16,672 in attendance on Saturday in Cleveland marked the fifth-largest attendance ever for a Monsters game.

Abramov now has 10 goals on the season, with five of them coming in the last 12 games. 

Sherwood now has five goals in the last 10 games. 

Team leaders through 49 games  

Points: Nathan Gerbe 32, Zac Dalpe 29, Alex Broadhurst 29, Mark Letestu 26, Adam Clendening 26

Goals: Zac Dalpe 15, Mark Letestu 13, Eric Robinson 12, Nathan Gerbe 10, Sonny Milano 10, Vitaly Abramov 10

Assists: Adam Clendening 23, Nathan Gerbe 22, Alex Broadhurst 21, Tommy Cross 16, Paul Bittner 16


Standings Update  

At 22-21-5-1, Cleveland is now seventh in the eight-team North Division with 50 points, one behind Binghamton. Cleveland has multiple games in hand on fourth-place Utica (58 points), fifth-place Belleville 53) and Binghamton.  

Up Next  

Tuesday, Feb. 12 vs. Rochester, 7 p.m. 

Friday, Feb. 15 at Belleville, 7 p.m.

Satuday, Feb. 16 at Belleville, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 17 at Utica, 5 p.m.

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