CLEVELAND – The AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, were defeated by the Iowa Wild in front of 10,687 fans at The Q on Friday by a final score of 3-0.
With the loss, the Monsters are now 20-18-1-3 this season and with a .524 points percentage, currently sit alone in fifth place in the AHL’s Central Division standings.
The Wild potted the opening period’s lone score at 13:03 when Mario Lucia held Iowa’s offensive blue line following a Monsters clearing attempt and wired home an unassisted, even-strength goal to make it 1-0 Wild through 20 minutes of play.
In the second, Iowa extended their lead to 2-0 at 6:31 when Christoph Bertschy deflected a bouncing puck past Cleveland net-minder Anton Forsberg at even-strength and the Wild capped a 3-0 victory with a Teemu Pulkinen empty-net score at 18:17 of the third.
Forsberg fell to 13-10-2 in net for the Monsters this season by virtue of a nine-save performance while Iowa’s Alex Stalock improved to 15-10-4 between the pipes for the Wild by posting a 27-save shutout, his third of the season.
The Monsters’ loss dropped Cleveland out of fourth place in the Central Division for the first time since December 28th of last year, as the Monsters held the Wild to a single-game season low of 12 shots on goal in defeat.
The win was Iowa’s franchise-record fifth consecutive victory and extended the Wild’s franchise-best road winning streak to eight games, matching the Providence Bruins’ league-wide season-long mark.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Saturday rematch vs. the Wild with full coverage, live from The Q, underway at 7:00 pm on SportsTime Ohio, 99X and the Monsters Hockey Network.