Monsters defuse Rocket in overtime, 3-2

Jan. 28—The Monsters, after hitting the low point of what has been a trying season Jan. 21 when they were trounced, 9-0, by the Charlotte Checkers, are officially on the rebound.

One day after being embarrassed, the Monsters responded by beating the Checkers, 5-2, to leave Charlotte with a split in the series. They followed that by beating the Laval Rocket, 3-2, in overtime on Jan. 27 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Goalie Jet Greaves led the way with 36 saves.

This is the first time the Monsters won back-to-back games since winning, 6-5, in overtime in Hershey on Dec. 11 and then beating Laval, 7-4, on Dec. 17 at the FieldHouse. The win lifted them out of the AHL North basement into sixth place at 16-18-3-2.

"I thought we were a little reckless with some decision making," Coach Trent Vogelhuber said ""We have a lot to improve on for tomorrow. Jet made some huge saves.

"We had spurts of good hockey. Ultimately, we found a way to win, which is what it comes down to the second half of the season."

Josh Dunne scored the game-winner when, standing just outside the crease, he redirected a shot from Marcus Bjork between his own skates with 57.7 seconds left in overtime.

Rocket goalie Cayden Primeau complained to the referee, claiming Dunne kicked the puck into the net. If true, the goal wouldn't have counted.

The referees skated over to the penalty boxes to review the play on video. The crowd of 9,447 was held in suspense for what seemed like five minutes, but in the end, the signal was given for a good goal, so the fans headed home happy.

The Rocket had 14 shots on goal in the first period, 10 in the second and 14 in the third. They had no shots on goal in overtime, primarily because the Monsters had a two-minute power play that expired four seconds before Dunne's winning goal. Still, the game would never have gotten to overtime if Greaves hadn't been spectacular in the first 60 minutes.

"For me, anytime there are a lot of chances against, I always enjoy that," Greaves said. "We competed well. We know winning is hard. You have to do the little things. We did that all night long to get two points."

The Monsters were 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Their first goal, scored by Trey Fix-Wolansky, was a blast from the top of the slot on the power play with one second left in the first period after Laval had taken a 1-0 lead.

The Rocket went up, 2-1, early in the third period. Joona Luota skated behind the Laval net, and wrapped a shot around the right post to tie the score 2-2 3:36 into the period.

Greaves had to stop 36 shots, but the defensemen in front of him threw their bodies in front of pucks to block shots from getting to the Monsters' goalie. Billy Sweezey took one hard off his left leg in the first period. He was in obvious pain, but couldn't limp to the bench until play was stopped. It wasn't long before Sweezey was back on the ice.

"I owe him dinner for that one," Greaves said.

The Monsters and Rocket meet in a rematch at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the FieldHouse,