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Monsters play 'awful,' but beat Marlies, 7-5

Jan. 24—In these tough economic times when households have to account for every nickel just to afford groceries, no one who saw the Monsters play the Toronto Marlies on Jan. 24 could accuse them of wasting shots.

The Monsters built a 2-0 lead after the first period at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and then managed only eight shots on goal in the final two frames. They scored on five of those eight shots, though, to outlast their rivals from the AHL North, 7-5. A crowd of 7,059 went home happy.

Getting two points in the standings to improve to 25-11-1-1 and increase their first place lead to four points over the Syracuse Crunch is about the only thing that pleased Coach Trent Vogelhuber.

"It was an awful game," #Monsters coach Trent Vogelhuber said after his team played the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The good news is @monstershockey won anyway, 7-5. pic.twitter.com/VF9znuRrkv

— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) January 25, 2024

"It was an awful game," Vogelhuber said with no preamble. "The first period was really good. It just shows we have a long way to go when you could play a period like that, and the two periods after that we were just reckless.

"Details go by the wayside. Decisions with the puck go by the wayside, but they stuck with it. It was a heck of a game from Greaver (goalie Jet Greaves), but we have a long way to go to play a full 60 minutes right now."

The final score definitely does not indicate how well Greaves played to improve his personal record to a sparkling 19-6-1-1. On that note, the Monsters will be in trouble if the Blue Jackets call Greaves up to play for them because he is the main reason Cleveland is where it is in the standings. Greaves stopped 33 of 38 shots.

The Marlies tied the game 2-2 in the second period. Vogelhuber called his only timeout after the second Toronto goal because he saw the momentum changing.

"We were playing pond hockey," he said. "There was no focus in our game anymore. One bad goal turned into two and then three and four. We were on our heels and abandoned everything that helps you be good. I was trying to get them to take a breath and slow the game down."

The Monsters never trailed. They led 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 before the Marlies made it 5-5 with 4:01 left in the third period.

A goal by Monsters left wing Owen Sillinger with 2:43 remaining gave the Monsters the lead for good. Sillinger was low in the right faceoff circle. Hunter McKown alertly passed the puck to him from the left side of the Toronto net. Sillinger snapped the puck over the right shoulder of Toronto goalie Dennis Hildeby. Jake Christiansen scored an empty net goal with 23 seconds to play.

The Monsters' 10-game homestand continues Jan. 26 and 27 with games against the Hartford Wolfpack. Both games start at 7 p.m.