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Cleveland Monsters Can't Escape the Howl of the Chicago Wolves

After going 2-4-0 on their six-game road trip, the Cleveland Monsters returned to the friendly confines of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (RMFH) on Friday night. The defending Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves, affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, served as the opponent for the Monsters' homecoming. Chicago decided that they were not going to be pleasant house guests as they spoiled the party, defeating the Monsters 5-2.

The Wolves entered Friday night's game with a record of 2-3-1-0, giving them five points for the season. With this record and points, the Wolves were slotted in seventh place in the Western Conference's Central Division. Cleveland entered the contest against their old division mates third in the Eastern Conference North Division with a mark of 4-4-0-0, giving them eight points for the season.

As the game between the Wolves and Monsters unfolded at RMFH, it was Cleveland who looked like the seventh-place team. Left winger Brendan Perlini did all the scoring for the Wolves in the first period, as he tickled the twine twice. First at 4:39, which was his first goal of the season, and again at 19:34 when the Wolves had a two-man advantage. In between the two Perlini goals, defenseman Tim Berni put the puck in the back of the net for the lone Monsters goal. Cleveland outshot Chicago 12-7 in the period, but it was the Wolves who held a 2-1 lead. It was a relatively clean period, as there were only three penalties called, two of which were on the Monsters.

Much like period one, the second period was controlled by the defending champs. However, it was the Monsters who opened the scoring, courtesy of a goal from left winger Tyler Angle at 1:42. The Wolves didn't blink, as they retook the lead a mere 18 seconds later by defenseman David Farrance. Perlini's impressive night would continue as he completed the second hat trick of his AHL career at the 3:36 mark.

Like in the first period, the Monsters outshot the Wolves, this time by a margin of five at 15-10. However, Chicago held a 4-2 lead going into the third period. Penality wise, the script was flipped from period one, as Chicago was called for two penalties, and Cleveland was whistled once.

An empty-net goal courtesy of Chicago left winger Joseph LeBate in the third period secured the 5-2 victory for Chicago. Despite being outshot in all three periods, the Wolves never trailed in the game. Chicago seized control of the game right from the first puck drop, and they never relinquished it. Meanwhile, the Monsters looked sluggish for most of the night.

The Wolves improved their record to 3-3-1-0 while the Monsters fell to 4-5-0-0. The Monsters dropped to fourth place in the North Division while the Wolves jumped up to fifth place in the Central Division. Cleveland will have the opportunity to right Friday's wrong in a rematch with the Wolves back at RMFH on November 12th. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m.

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