Calls of the Game with Ben Holden

Tuesday night at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, John Grahame and the Monsters put forth a great effort to take a 2-1 lead in their North Division Semi-Final series with the Manitoba Moose. Grahame made 39 saves in the win, including 18 in the second period alone. The Monsters penalty killing unit was 8-for-8 against the Moose in Game 3, and they are 15-15 through the first three games of the series.

Here is a listen back to some of the highlights from Game 3. Monsters play-by-play announcer Ben Holden and Jock Callander called the game on AM 1220 and the Monsters Hockey Network. Here’s a listen back to the first goal of the game that came from the Moose and Sergei Shirokov early in the game.

Later in the opening period, the Monsters had their best chance of the period, which saw the Monsters generate only 6 shots, one of those came courtesy of Julian Talbot who had a very strong game 3.

The Monsters were down 1-0 at the start of the second period, but :38 into the frame, the Monsters top line of Ben Walter, Greg Mauldin and David Van der Gulik came through to tie the game at 1-1 on van der Gulik’s second of the playoffs. Here’s how Ben Holden described the game-tying goal.

Shortly after that goal, captain Ben Walter found the back of the Moose net with his second of the playoffs on a great assist up the right wing side from defenseman Jonas Holos. Here’s how Holden described the eventual game-winning goal.

The Monsters spent the majority of the second period shorthanded as they were whistled for four penalties and that resulted in two 5-on-3 penalty killing situations. Justin Mercier, who scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway in Game 1 of the series, once again had a chance. Just like in Game 1, it came against former Lake Erie goaltender, Tyler Weiman.

But the story of the second period and in the game for that matter, was veteran goaltender John Grahame, who made 39 saves in the game, 18 of them in the second period alone. Here are the biggest saves Grahame made in the period.

In the third period, Grahame was once again tested in big fashion when Mario Bliznak broke in alone right up the middle of the ice on a Moose power play, but once again, Grahame was calm, cool and collected. Here’s how Holden described a great, late game save by Grahame.

Later in the period, with the Moose putting heavy pressure on the Monsters net, defenseman Matt Generous, who played very strong in Game 3, came up with a great play to help keep the score 2-1 Lake Erie.

Then with under a half minute in the game, David van der Gulik was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct before a faceoff, and the Monsters were outnumbered by two men after the Moose pulled Tyler Weiman from the net. Here’s how Holden described the feverish finish to Game 3 with less than 30 seconds to play.

So the Monsters were able to hang on and get a much deserved Game 3 win to take a 2-1 series lead. An amazing effort by every single player on the roster was turned in! Game 4 is Thursday night in Winnipeg and you can catch the pregame show with Ben Holden and head coach David Quinn at 8:25 EST on ESPN 850 WKNR and espncleveland.com, as the Monsters will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Until then, Go Monsters!

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