Calls of the Week with Ben Holden

Calls of the Week with Ben Holden

Monday February 28, 2011

Hello again Monsters fans and welcome to another action packed edition of “Calls of the Week”. The Monsters played three games in three days this past weekend. On Thursday they played at home against Hershey, before visiting Grand Rapids on Friday to face their North Division rivals the Griffins. Then on Saturday, the Monsters faced the Griffins again on Browns Night in front of 13,022, the biggest crowd of the season so far at The Q. Fans watched the Monsters close out the weekend with two wins and four points to maintain a tie for first place in an ultra tight North Division.

For the last month, the games have felt like playoff games as the Monsters have played the best hockey of their four-year franchise history. Let’s drop the puck on this week’s “Calls Of The Week” with highlights from last Thursday’s big 4-1 win over the defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears.

Early on in the game the Monsters called on rookie Joel Chouinard for his rocket-like shot, and Chouinard, who entered the game with the top shooting percentage among AHL defensemen, found the net with a shot that beat starting goaltender Todd Ford to give the Monsters a 1-0 lead. Here’s how the call sounded from Ben Holden on FS Ohio and ESPN 850.

Just 18 seconds later, center Mike Carman made his way up the left wing and fired a low shot to the far post on Todd Ford, who kicked away a rebound that was ultimately buried by Matt Ford. Here’s how the call of that goal, that made it 2-0 Monsters, sounded from Holden.

Then, 22 seconds later, the Monsters went up 3-0 when Greg Mauldin one-timed a David van der Gulik pass past Bears goaltender Todd Ford. As it turned out, the Monsters scored the three goals in a span of 40 seconds to stake themselves a three-goal lead on one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Here’s how Mauldin’s seventh goal of the season sounded.

The Monsters took a 3-1 lead into the dressing room on the Bears and then came out strong in the second period as well. Rookie Luke Walker scored his 10th of the season on a great set up by Lake Erie Captain Ben Walter. Here’s how that goal sounded.

That was more than enough offense for the Monsters as they skated to a 4-1 win over the Bears and a sweep in the two-game season series with the reigning Calder Cup Champions. Monsters goalie Jason Bacashihua, who spent last season in a Bears uniform, played a great game for the Monsters against his former team, and in the third period he came up money with some stellar goaltending. Here’s a listen to what “cash” did late in the game on a night in which he allowed just one goal and stopped 20 of 21 Bears shots.

So after the 4-1 win on Thursday, the Monsters then headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan to face their North Division rivals, the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins opened the scoring just 1:17 into the game and led 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. But in the middle period, the Monsters and their power play came alive and got the wine and black right back into the game. Rookie Mark Olver, who leads AHL rookies with 22 goals, scored his 22nd of the season early in the middle period to get the Monsters going. Here’s how the call sounded with Ben Holden on the mic on AM 1220 and the Monsters hockey network.

Less than two minutes later, Matt Ford continued his red hot play with another power play goal for the Monsters. Chad Costello was also involved in the play and picked up his first point as a Monster. Here’s how the game-tying goal on the power play sounded.

Then on the ensuing center ice faceoff, Monsters winger Patrick Bordeleau dropped the gloves and fought Griffins winger Brandon Straub for the third time this season. Here’s that call with Ben Holden.

The Monsters dominated the second period and the game was tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes, but the Griffins came back with a pair of third period goals to lead the game 4-2. With a little more than four minutes left in the contest, Greg Mauldin scored his eighth of the season with some help from Ray Macias and Monsters Captain Ben Walter to cut the Griffins lead to just one goal. Here’s how that call sounded.

With the score still 4-3, the Monsters put some heavy pressure on the Griffins and goaltender Jordan Pearce in an effort to tie the game and force overtime. Here’s Ben Holden with the call of the final 55 seconds of the game at Van Andel Arena in what turned out to be a 5-3 Monsters loss.

That loss in Grand Rapids brought the Monsters back home for Saturday’s rematch with the Griffins before the season’s biggest crowd at The Q. Thirteen thousand and twenty two fans were on hand as the Monsters wore Cleveland Browns colored uniforms. Like Friday night, the Griffins scored early on this night, as Derek Meech scored just 1:19 into the game to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. But the Monsters came back with toughness and grit to take a 2-1 lead when David Van Der Gulik banged home his ninth goal of the season. Here’s how that go ahead goal sounded on FS Ohio and ESPN 850 with Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin on the call.

Later in the game, forward Patrick Bordeleau had a great shift in the attacking zone, making a great body check on the end wall and then went to the front of the net for his second goal of the season to make it 3-1 Monsters. Here’s how Holden and Ritchlin described the eventual game-winning goal from Bordeleau.

The Monsters skated to a 3-2 win and managed to remain atop the North Division standings after winning two of the three games over the weekend. All in all, another solid weekend for the Monsters. That’s it for this week’s “Calls of the Week”. Check in next week for another exciting and action packed edition right here on our website. Until then, keep cheering the Monsters on and we would love to see you at The Q this weekend with Friday and Saturday night games at 7:30 p.m. vs. the Rockford IceHogs.

If you can’t make it down to The Q, you can listen live to both games this weekend on ESPN 850 WKNR. Monsters play-by-play announcer Ben Holden will have the calls and the pregame show with Monsters head coach David Quinn beginning at 7:25 both nights, plus player interviews during the game and much more on the Monsters hockey network!

Go Monsters!!

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