Devils nip Mon­sters in over­time, 4-3

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Jeff Schudel [email protected]­ @JSProIn­sider on Twit­ter

The Mon­sters played hard from be­gin­ning to end, hus­tled at both ends of the ice.

The game the Mon­sters played against the Bing­ham­ton Devils on Feb. 10 at Quicken Loans Arena would look good on a high­light reel of the 2018-19 sea­son — as long as the score­board at the end of the game didn’t make the fi­nal cut.

The Mon­sters played hard from be­gin­ning to end, hus­tled at both ends of the ice and out­shot their vis­i­tors, 44-24. But in the end all they had to show was one point in the AHL North stand­ings af­ter fall­ing, 4-3, on a goal by Bing­ham­ton’s Mar­ian Stu­denic with 1:09 re­main­ing in the five-minute over­time.

“We played a ter­rific game,” Mon­sters coach John Mad­den said. “There’s not much more you can do. We prob­a­bly dou­bled the chances they had. We had our op­por­tu­ni­ties all night long. That hap­pens. That’s hockey.

“I liked our com­pete. I liked our com­po­sure when things weren’t go­ing well. We saw some things out of play­ers we haven’t seen yet, so there were a lot of pos­i­tives.”

Mad­den pulled start­ing goalie Matiss Kivle­nieks, who al­lowed three goals on seven Bing­ham­ton shots. His re­place­ment, JeanFran­cois Berube, stopped all 14 shots he faced in reg­u­la­tion and the first two he saw in over­time.

The Mon­sters, mean­while, kept blast­ing away at Bing­ham­ton goalie Cam John­son.

Vi­taly Abramov, play­ing what Mad­den said was his best game of the sea­son, tied the game 1-1 at 6:42 of the first pe­riod when he shot from the right cir­cle over John­son’s left shoul­der.

The Devils built their 3-1 lead, and then with 24.2 sec­onds left in the mid­dle pe­riod, Nikita Korostelev — who, like Kivle­nieks and Abramov is from Rus­sia — snapped off a shot be­tween John­son’s legs from low in the right cir­cle.

Abramov scored his sec­ond goal of the game when he spun and put a re­bound past John­son at 14:29 of the third pe­riod.

The over­time was wild. The Mon­sters had five shots on net. Abramov nar­rowly missed a hat trick when his back­hand at­tempt slid wide of the left post, draw­ing groans from most the 9,766 fans in at­ten­dance. A small con­tin­gent of fans from Bing­ham­ton, all in New Jersey Devils gear, rang cow­bells when the red light be­hind Berube went on in over­time.

“We keep learn­ing lessons, but there was com­pete and there was emo­tion to the game,” Mad­den said. “We didn’t quit work­ing. That was im­pres­sive to me.”

The Mon­sters host the Rochester Amer­i­cans at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 be­fore head­ing out on a four-game road trip to Belleville, Utica and Rochester.

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