Admit it… You were scared. In the fourth quarter of the Browns game vs the Bengals, you got scared. You were waiting for the other shoe to drop… But guess what? There’s no other shoe and the Browns were victorious in a fun-filled 35-20 stomping of their interstate rivals.
If you have followed the Cleveland Browns for any length of time then you know – and have lamented the fact – that the Browns find new and unusual way to lose games week after week. But here’s a news flash for you – this ain’t the “Same Old Browns.”
The Monsters finished the 3rd week of the season a dismal 3-5-1-1 which puts them 4th in the division. Defense continues to be a huge problem, allowing four or five goals a game. With tough games this week vs the Adirondack Flames, it’s going to take alot of work to get back on a winning track.
Saturday, November 1st vs Texas Stars 4-3 OT
G Calvin Pickard got his second win in a row thanks to an overtime goal by LW Michael Schumacher. The Monsters got off to an early lead with two goals in the first period from C Joey Hishon and C Colin Smith. The Stars answered with a goal to end the first period 2-1. Hishon got his second goal of the night in the second period but the Stars answered back to stay within one, 3-2. In the third period, despite some great saves, Pickard gave up a goal to Brett Ritchie to send us to overtime. Luckily, before the 3:00 mark and the loss of a player for both sides, Schumacher hit the game winner. Pickard stopped 33 of 36 SOG.
Tuesday, November 4th at Rockford IceHogs 4-5 OT
The Monsters managed to score four goals, all on power-plays, which in itself is amazing, but they fell short in overtime to the IceHogs. Pickard stopped 41 of 46 SOGs, the most this defense has allowed all season. While their ability to score on the power play has been a problem in the past, the defense is still allowing too much access to the crease.
Friday, November 7th vs Utica Comets 1-4
A lone goal from F Borna Rendulic kept the Monsters from being blanked at home but was a far cry from the four goals scored by league-leading Comets. G Pickard stopped 31 of 35 SOGs and perhaps needs a bit of a break. This is the third game in a row for Pickard facing 30+ shots and he’s wearing down a bit. This was the Monsters most disappointing performance on Home Ice so far this season.
Wednesday, November 12th at Grand Rapids Griffins 3-5
The Griffins may sit at the bottom of the division, but they gave the visiting Monsters more than they could handle on Wednesday night. Getting off to a 4-0 start, the Griffins owned the crease and forced G Pickard out of the game, replaced by fresh-faced G Roman Will. The Monsters finally mounted some offense in the third period with goals from C Troy Bourke, C Sam Henley (the first of his careeer) and LW Andrew Agozzino, cutting the Comet lead to just one. But their attempt at a comeback fell short when Griffin C Andreas Athanasiou scored an empty-net goal to take a 5-3 lead.
The Monsters return home with games at the Q this weekend vs the Adirondack Flames.
Friday, November 14th – 7:30: Face Off Against Diabetes, Dollar Dog and Soda Night
This weekend has been INSANE! And really, it’s been more than just a weekend since the party got started last Thursday night!
Thursday – under the bright lights of the national stage, the Browns traveled down to Cincinnati for what has turned into a key game this season. No one gave us a chance to win – not the national media and certainly very few of our own hometown fans, but I believed. Call me crazy (you crazy girl!) but I just knew that if the running game could get back on track, we could win this thing. Let’s face it, Bengals QB Andy Dalton does NOT do well in big situations and it turns out that last Thursday was one of those bad nights for the Scut Farkas look-alike! All three of our running backs got TDs and the defense played like their hair was on fire the whole game. THE WHOLE GAME! Two interceptions for Craig Roberston and light’s out, shut down defense from everyone else. It almost makes me cry, I’m so proud of these guys. No Jordan Cameron. No Josh Gordon. Just amazing clutch catches from guys like Gary Barnidge! Holy Crap again – how good will this team get when those guys return? The leadership and the attitude changes I’ve seen this season give me real hope that we aren’t just holding the top spot in the AFC North for a short time. This is the New Browns. We are holding this spot until someone takes it away…. we are NOT giving it away like seasons gone by. As a fan who has been through some brutal seasons, I’m starting to learn to enjoy the wins, to look forward to games, and to not “wait for them to blow it.” Yippee!
Friday was a bit mellow with the high school playoffs starting. I really don’t have any dogs in that fight but I did feel bad that Lorain County’s own Elyria High pulled St. Ignatius and got destroyed. Those boys had a great season and should still be very proud of all they accomplished.
Now, Saturday night rolls around and – not gonna lie – I didn’t watch the first half of the OSU vs Michigan State game. I was still rolling on the high left from a Browns “Victory Friday” and I just didn’t think I could take watching the Buckeyes get ripped apart by one of the best defenses in all of college football. Well, the hubby texted me at half-time and said “PUT THE GAME ON DAMMIT!” So…. I tuned in for the second half and HOLY CRAP ON A STICK the Buckeyes were WINNING! It was an amazing thing to watch those last two quarters as the guys on the line just kept pounding away at Sparty and really made people take notice. The improvement this team has shown since that terrible loss to Virginia Tech is incredible. Just when everyone had us written off – BAM – they put on a show like that and, in my opinion, proved to the world that they could hold their own with any team.
Most importantly, however, the Buckeyes proved to their FANS that we weren’t just being homers. It’s really hard to have to justify your program and the schedule to non-believers. We can’t help who they play, we can’t help the blowout wins, we just have to deal with the teams that are put on the schedule. But I think many fans were like me, a bit skeptical of what this team could really do when faced with a quality opponent. Now, it cracks me up to hear the national guys down play the win, especially after listening to them all last week talk about Michigan State’s defense and how great it is. Well. I guess JT Barrett has risen in some folks estimation because he and Ezekiel Elliott put on a display of how to beat an great defense! Plus Joey Bosa definitely showed QB Connor Cook what “Pressure” looked like! I kinda felt back for Cook, being from Hinckley, OH. Kinda. But just because he reminds me a bit of Brian Hoyer. The kid has skills, just hope we didn’t shake his confidence up too much. O-H!
I’d like to say Sunday was fairly boring without a Browns game but that would be a lie. The next best thing to a Browns win is a Steelers loss… and they lost to the J-E-T-S! I don’t think it gets any better than that!
Until next time, diary, enjoy the wins and pray the losses are few and far between!
After a week of play, the Monsters sit at the bottom of their division, 2-4-0-1. Last weekend’s road trip started well with a win in Grand Rapids but things went downhill from there…
Friday, Oct 24 @ Grand Rapid Griffins 5-4
Thanks to goals from five different Monsters, G Sami Aittokallio won his first start of the season. D Markus Lauridsen got the scoring started in the first period and a goal from LW Michael Shumacher got us off to a 2-0 lead, however the Griffins quickly tied it up at 2-2, their second goal coming off the power-play which has been a problem for the Monsters in the past. In the second period, RW Kenny Ryan put the Monsters back on top 3-2 for the only score before the second intermission. LW Andrew Agozzino got his first goal of the season in the 3rd period to take the 4-3 lead followed by a goal from W Dennis Everberg with the eventual game-winning goal. They held off the Griffins to keep the 5-4 win.
Saturday, Oct 25 @ Milwaukee Admirals 1-2
After a stint with the NHL Avalanche, G Calvin Pickard returned to the crease for the Monsters in Milwaukee. Scoreless near the end of the 2nd period, LW Paul Carey’s goal gave us the 1-0 lead. A quick goal from Admirals Garrett Noonan left us tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. Over Time ensued, seeing the first 3-on-3 action under the new rules for the Monsters this season but despite 8 shots-on-goal we were forced into a shoot out. Milwaukee’s two shoot out goals gave them the victory, 2-1.
Sunday, Oct 26 @ Rockford Icehogs 2-5
An ugly 3rd period – giving up three goals – sent the Monsters heading back home with another loss. With G Pickard again in the net, the Icehogs led 2-0 after the first period. Goals from D Maxim Noreau and Agozzino tied things up at 2-2, the goal from Agozzino coming short-handed! Pickard stopped 26 of 30 shots but, giving up 3 goals in the third sealed the win for Rockford and a tough loss for out Monsters.
The Monsters return home for a pair of games this weekend. Hopefully home ice will help bring a few points to the W column and get the boys back on track. This is a tough new division and they can’t fall too far behind everyone else this early in the season.
Friday, Oct 31 vs Texas Stars (non-division)- Halloween party, trick-or-treat on the concourse!
Saturday, Nov 1 vs Texas Stars
Tuesday, Nov 4 at Rockford Icehogs
Friday, Nov 12 vs Utica Commets (non-division) – Salute The Troops Night, THUNDERSTICKS GIVEAWAY!
SSSHHHHHHHHHHH STOP YELLING! Oh my aching head! My weekend was insane and I’m STILL hungover! I know I’m late in writing to you but gimme a break. I had a rough weekend!
(whispering) I can’t even remember Friday night. That’s how bad it is! Saturday, however, is another story! The Buckeyes were in Happy Valley for an 8:30 kickoff vs Penn State and, after a 12-pack of Corona and TWO OVER TIMES (shhhh – sorry) two over time periods, we came out on top 31-24. As I’m watching (and drinking) their 17 point lead fade away to nothing, I had to cut up two more limes for the beer and ran out of nachos and, well, let’s just say that when Joey Bosa sacked Hackenberg on that 4th-and-5 play to end the game, we ALL passed out! Next thing I know it’s Sunday morning, the stupid London game is kicking off at 9:30 am (OY) and the hubby is trying to feed me runny eggs and sausage links! #Ralph
I make it to work ok and get everything done early in anticipation of the late game for my Browns vs the Oakland Raiders. My head’s a bit sore but I’m more or less ok… until half time. 9-6. Are you kidding me? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME! (yikes, ouch, my head) I will not handle any more of this field goal crap! Break out the vodka and make Pepto Bismolitans! No scoring in the 3rd quarter and I’m nearly out of vodka. We are one break-out play away from losing – FOR THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW – to a winless team!
When did we start running a charity around here? “Need a win? Play the Browns!” Oh. Hell. No. Not only am I completely tipsy at this point, but I’m getting really pissed. That’s right, I said it. Pissed. The Browns are playing AT HOME! The Dawg Pound has to matter! We have to make our opponents FEAR coming in here! I have to type more softly because it feels like the monkeys flinging this poo at my computer screen are dancing on my head right now!
Anyway, the 4th quarter finally brought some big plays, some excitement, some signs of life from an offense that has been as hungover as I am since the beat down of the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago. (no, it never gets old, reminding you that we beat Pittsburgh) Solomon Wilcots referred to our injured Center as “Alex Smith” – TWICE – and we gave up a garbage TD. In the end, we won 23-13 but I have to say, as much as I enjoy Victory Monday and as much as a W counts regardless of how ugly it was, the defense needs to learn a serious lesson here. If you don’t shut teams down and let them keep coming back at you, you will LOSE more games than you WIN. The Oakland Raiders are NOT a good football team and we did NOT shut them down properly.
Frankly, my head still hurts and yes, celebrating two wins is better than two losses but still…. the hang over is the same. Until next week diary, behave yourself!
The 2014-15 AHL season is underway and Monsters Hockey is BACK! After a dismal 1-3 start, the Monsters head out on a three-city road trip this weekend (Friday in Grand Rapids, Saturday in Milwaukee and Sunday in Rockford) that will be pretty brutal. Each Friday afternoon I’ll recap the prior weeks games and preview the upcoming weekend. I’ll also keep you up-to-date on Home Ice Special Events! Rather than dwell on this first tough week of games, here are a few things that changed from last season that you should know…
New Division: The AHL has done some realigning and the Monsters are now in the Western Conference, Midwest Division. They face a tough challenge in this new division, facicng The Chicago Wolves, The Grand Rapids Griffins, The Milwaukee Admirals and The Rockford Icehogs. (How can you not love a name like “Icehogs?”) Anyway, looking at last year’s final standings, the Monsters would be a distant last place vs this competition. They will have their work cut out for them , especially considering their penalty-kill and shoot-out problems of last year.
Rule 85 “Over time”: And speaking of shoot-out problems, expect fewer of them this year with the new OT rules… We start with a 7 minute Sudden Death OT period… At the 4:00 mark, the first referee whistle stopping play will result in each team losing a player or 3-on-3 action! If the game is still tied after this period, a shoot-out featuring three players from each team will commence. I can’t wait to see the Monsters play one of these new style of OT periods. The challenge for Head Coach Dave Chenowyth in managing the lines and watching the players with that much more empty ice… Awesome!
Congrats to stellar goalie Calvin Pickard on being called up by the Colorado Avalance and getting to play in his first NHL game this week. He made the trip to Chicago with the team and had just finished lunch and was getting ready for practice when he got the call. He was off to Ottawa be the backup for Reto Berra and due to a collision early in the first period, ended up in the crease and finished the game. Unfortunately, a couple of 3rd period goals by the Senators turned his first game into a loss, but at least he’s up there!
Welcome to a couple new faces: Captain Bruno Gervais and rookie goalie Roman Will. With Pickard being called up, we’ll see much more of Will than I expected when we first signed him and defensemen Gervais being named a team captain tells you what his teammates think of him and his abilities. Welcome to Cleveland, guys!
Lastly, if you are a hockey fan and you’re looking for pumpkin carving idea, check out the Lake Erie Monsters website. They’ve got some easy stencils on their to use for carving and show the whole neighborhood that you are a spooky hockey fan like me!
For more LEMonsters news, follow me on twitter @ClvlndK8.
You should also be following the voice of the Monsters @DougPlagens
“I am alone. I am utterly alone. My whole Sports Life is a dark room.”
Yes, I am channeling my inner Lydia Deetz today, but can you blame me?
First of all, the weekend started off Friday night with the NR Rangers falling to Bay 34-19. ZERO second half points!? The amazing junior “Run DMC” (you remember – DeMario McCall? Future Buckeye if I’m lucky?) did what he could, rushing for 138 yards and two touch downs but it wasn’t enough. They just got out-played and it was brutal to watch.
You’d think another tOSU Buckeye romp on Saturday would help me feel better but, no. Crushing Rutgers 56-17 only makes me mad all over again that we lost that dang Va-Tech game.
Too many one-loss teams to even thing about playoffs and yet, that’s what I’m doing. Wallowing in the sadness that comes from losing a game early in the season.
So Sunday comes along and I thought, “Wow, Browns are at Jax. The Jags have not played well this season; this should be an easy game.” Uh, not so fast there chickadee… we got our butts handed to us by a team that was desperately trying to get their first win of the season and, while they look bad on paper, still have enough talent to fight for yards.
I’m already hearing the Manzealots screaming for Johnny and, while I agree Hoyer wasn’t at his best, those people are CRAZY! Last week vs Steelers he had 217 passing yards and we scored 31 points. Yesterday vs Jaguars he had 215 passing yards and we scored 6 points. You know what the difference was? Turnovers and Rushing Yards! A mere 62 yards on the ground? And we’re a Running Team? OY!
And if that isn’t bad enough, if simply getting smashed by an 0-6 team isn’t humiliating enough, we gave up 127 yards to Denard Robinson! Yes, the same Michi-scum my Buckeyes faced just last year, QB turned RB, That Guy! While I love seeing former Buckeye Whitner taking down Denard, it makes me crazy I have to see #16 at all anymore! Oy AGAIN!
The biggest hurdle I see, diary, is the Center position. I know I was all Patty Positive last week when Alex Mack got hurt and Greco came in, but it seemed, well, seamless. We moved the ball, did what we wanted, and kicked Steeler butt. This week however, was a very different story. CLEARLY, the defensive line for the Jaguars has been underappreciated. And CLEARLY we undervalued what a great Center means to a football team. We haven’t had to worry about that position in so long that now everyone has to learn what I tried to explain during the offseason when Mack got his fat contract: The offense is Centered around the Center! Not only is he responsible for getting the QB the ball correctly and without the QB worrying about it, but he’s basically unblocked by the defense so he steps back and looks to the A or B gap to see who needs help. This is NOT something Greco can pick up in just one week. I’m hopeful that Alex will be back in Berea to visit this week and will take Greco under his wing for some veteran coaching, tricks of the trade, something!
Heavy Sigh. And so my week without a Victory Monday commences. I’m sure, diary, that by Friday, I’ll be cheerful again, rooting for my teams. But for now, I shall simply wallow in the unhappiness that comes from my Sports Life being a Dark Room. I know I’m being totally melodramatic here but I did warn you that I was channeling Lydia. And since Halloween is so near, it seems fitting, don’t ya think?
OMG! You thought last weekend was amazing? Well, hold on to your hat because this weekend was EPIC!
Friday was all about the return of the Lake Erie Monsters… The guys were on the road facing the Grand Rapids Griffins and WON 4-0! Calvin Pickard was light’s out in the crease, fending off 37 shots-on-goal from the Griffins! With 2 goals from Karl Stollery, 1 from Kenny Ryan and an empty-netter from Max Noreau, the Monsters offense looked ready to get this season started in their new divisi
I have no idea what is up with the realignment but being in the Midwest Divison of the Western Conference is going to be tough. Based on last season’s records, we would finish a far off 5th in this group: Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford IceHogs. Sheesh.
Saturday was fairly boring. The Buckeyes were on a bye and the Monsters lost their home opener 2-3 which depressed me and I don’t want to dwell on that right now, because…
SUNDAY was the BEST SUNDAY OF THE BROWNS SEASON in as far back as I can remember. Frankly, a victory never tasted so good as beating the pants off the Steelers yestereday 31-3. Yeah yeah the final score was 31-10 but that last TD was total garbage time stuff and shouldn’t count. Ha. After a kinda shaky first quarter, the boys in brown settled down and handled their business. With so many injuries this week I have to admit I was very nervous. This game had the ability to be huge. No, it wasn’t a “must win game.” Those are one-and-done playoff situations. BUT this game DID give the Browns an opportunity to make a statement. To tell the AFC North – and maybe the rest of the NFL – that we are NOT the Same Old Browns.
I don’t know what this week will bring, how long we are going to lose Alex Mack with the broken fibula, but I do know this…. WE BEAT THE FREAKIN’ STEELERS and we did it in convincing fashion… not some 3 point, last second field goal but three quarters of stomping on them, letting them know they’ve been in a battle, telling EVERYONE that we finally have Home Field Advantage, that the Dawg Pound DOES have teeth!
First, in high school football action on Friday, my North Ridgeville Rangers suffered a Homecoming Game defeat to the dreaded Midview Middies, 28-14. Junior RB Demario McCall (Run DMC we call him) had a terrible time trying to cut and run in the muddy, wet conditions and just couldn’t get it done. It’s strange to say that 103 yards and a TD is his worst game of the season but it’s true. Word on the street is that Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer was checking him out a few weeks ago… Hmmmm.
Saturday was all about the Buckeyes. I’ll admit, their pass defense leaves much to be desired. They are playing like two separate defensive units, The Front Seven and The Back Four. Nope, not a fan of the Fickell, but you already know that. Anyway, with Cincinnati QB Gunner “The Gunslinger” Kiel at the helm, the Bearcats got over 400 yards of offense. Heck Gunner threw for 4 TDs and 346 yards! Luckily, JT Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott were more than ready to show that the Buckeyes have some offense too… JT had 324 passing yards, 79 rushing yards and 4 TDs of his own! And Zeke with 188 rushing yards?!? Amazing! Mark another one in the Buckeyes Win Column 50-28! That’s three games in a row where the offense socred 50+ points. I guess if the defense can’t hold ’em, we’ll have to win in shoot-out fashion!
I hear the Cavaliers had some kind of scrimmage and then a game vs the head coaches former team from Israel but really, it’s football season. Am I right? LOL Whatevs.
Now, Sunday was the capper! Let me tell you, diary, I was freaking out until around 4:10pm watching the Browns play down at the Tennessee Titans. It’s a good thing I am the only one in the office on Sundays because I was screaming and yelling and throwing things (just a couple things and they were soft so nothing got broken), but really, the missed tackles and mental mistakes make me crazy! Being down 28-10 at the half is insane! I know we came back to tie the Steelers in week 1 being down 24 points but I hadn’t seen enough to have faith that good guys in the white jerseys could come from behind. Again. And don’t even get me started on the defense! Could we give up just a few more points to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst? And his pony tail? Really? REALLY??? ARGH!
But oh gee lordy was I surprised when the second half started and the defense just shut them down. Plus, we never gave up on the run, just kept cranking away and chipping their lead down until we were ahead by 1 point! And yes, I was afraid that 1 minute on the clock was too much time for us to give the Titans. Can you blame me? Well, all I can say now is: HALELUJIAH BABY IT’S VICTORY MONDAY! I totally <3 Travis Benjamin. Sigh. He’s really making a name for himself as the Play Maker this team needs while JG is out. I’m not ready to declare them the Kardiac Kids 2.014 but maybe the Comeback Kids is who they are… or The Spread Coverers. LOL
Can I handle a long season of 3-point games differentials? As long as we are actually scoring TDs and finding ways to WIN these close games, you bet your butt I can handle it! Go Browns!
Every time I write the Indians off they go and win a bunch of games and pull me back in…. like this is the Godfather or something!
We’re currently sitting 3.5 games out of the Wild Card spot, behind Kansas City, and guess who we play this week at home? Yep. Kansas City. Holy Moley! This upcoming four-game series is so huge I can’t do it justice. Well, it’s huge if you believe the Tribe can find that magic and make it into the playoffs.
The Boys of Summer won 5 of their last 6 games and the pitching has never been better. Heck, even the offense seems to be waking up, scoring 7 runs in back-to-back games!
It all starts tonight with that Suspended game being finished (and don’t even get me started on how ridiculous it is to play the 10th inning how many weeks later?). OY! But the point is that their destiny is in their own hands. These are must win games. Period. By taking 4 from KC you don’t have to rely on a bunch of other scenarios for a chance to play in October. And isn’t that really all we want? The hope of October Baseball?
Pitching lineup for this week: Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer. All tough guys to face and a great 1-2-3 punch to start this last run to the end. Nothing’s going to be easy for the Royals but they realize how important this series is to their season as well.
Now. Since everything is all about ME, I’ll take the label of jinx and run with it.
There’s no way they sweep the Royals. There’s no way they make the playoffs. Bank on it.
Now go ahead, boys, prove me wrong! Keep pulling me back in!
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