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Monsters see their season end in Calder Cup Playoffs

Fix-Wolansky gets first pro goal but Cleveland loses series to Toronto

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

As Jim Morrison once sang, this is the end. 

One night after the Blue Jackets saw their season end Monday night in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the organization's top farm team, the Cleveland Monsters, saw their campaign conclude Tuesday night with a loss to Toronto in the AHL's Calder Cup Playoffs. 

Toronto stormed back from a 2-0 deficit early to take a 6-2 win that ended their North Division Finals series in a 4-0 sweep. The Maple Leafs' top farm team will move on to the AHL's Eastern Conference Finals.

Thus concludes the 2018-19 hockey season for the Blue Jackets organization, with its top European prospects now done with their club season and the North American organizations concluded as well. 

Still, it was a successful season for the Monsters, who caught fire late in the season and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2015-16 season when the then-Lake Erie Monsters won the Calder Cup. Columbus and Carolina were the only two organizations to see their NHL and AHL teams win a series, as the Monsters dispatched top-seeded Syracuse in the first round with a 3-1 series victory. 

The Toronto series just didn't go the Monsters' way, with Toronto winning the first two games at home. The Marlies won Game 1 by a 5-2 count then took Game 2 by a 4-3 score in overtime. 

Returning home to Cleveland, the Monsters put 35 shots on goal in Sunday's Game 3 but could not score in a 2-0 loss to the Marlies in front of more than 8,000 fans before Tuesday's finale. 

There was a notable accomplishment early in Game 4, though, as Blue Jackets prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky scored his first professional goal. The seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft, who racked up more than 100 points with Edmonton of the WHL this season, tallied in his third AHL game.  

Looking at the final postseason stats for the Monsters, Sonny Milano, Columbus' No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, led the team in the eight-game postseason run with a 2-8-10 line. Veteran Mark Letestu added three goals and five points. 

Fix-Wolanksy had a 1-1-2 line in three games after being signed from Edmonton, while 2018 first-round pick Liam Foudy had two goals in eight games in the playoffs after shining with London of the OHL.  

"It's a little bit different obviously," Fix-Wolansky told the team's website of adapting to the pro level. "Guys are stronger, faster, they play a more structured game. You've just got to play a simpler game, start slow, get your feet into it. As your shifts get up, as you get more time on the ice, you feel more comfortable and just being able to get out here and play a couple games, it's been super nice and a great experience." 

For the Monsters' final season statistics, click here.  

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