Tonight we root on the Lake Erie Monsters, official employer of Stabbone and likely the only team in Cleveland to taste the postseason this year. The Monsters finished the regular season with an impressive 44-28 record, good enough to qualify for a chance to win the Calder Cup for the first time in the team's young history.
Following a string of three straight sixth-place finishes, the Monsters exploded this year to establish themselves as a power in the AHL's Western Conference. Their final record represents a ten-game improvement from 2009-2010 and suddenly Monsters hockey is the best act in town.
Now deadlocked 3-3 in an epic series with the Manitoba Moose, the Monsters have a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. The Moose ain't going quietly, though. They've climbed out of a 3-1 hole to even up the series.
Should the Monsters advance the second round, the 44-27 Hamilton Bulldogs are waiting.
Let's go Monsters! Down with Canada!*
Update--The Monsters allow four unanswered goals to lose the game and series in typical Cleveland flameout fashion. But just wait till next year!
*Except their superior health care system, from which we could learn a lot