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Monsters dominate on Halloween weekend

The Fresno Monsters (6-0-0) capped another six-point weekend with a series sweep over the Anaheim Avalanche and are tied for first in the Pacific Division with the Las Vegas Thunderbirds (6-0-0).

Series Rewind:

Game 1: Fresno 7, Ontario 0

Biller opened up the series on Friday night with a breakaway to give the Monsters an early lead that would then be followed up by Gagnon on a power play. During the second period is where things would turn from bad to worst for Anaheim as Duciaume, Gavrilenko, and Nance would each score. Biller and Setoguchi would finish off the game with a goal apiece.

Monsters goalie Knute Loe won his first shutout with Fresno in the USPHL.

Game 2: Fresno 6, Ontario 3

Game 2 landed on Halloween night which seems appropriate for the Monsters and they didn't disappoint. Duciaume would strike first blood early in the first as Biller immediately followed up with another to what would be a barrage of offensive attacks from the Monsters which would force the Avs to pull their goalie. At the end of the first, the Monsters had 24 shots on goal to the Avalanche's 8.

Anaheim didn't give up the fight though and came out strong during the second, taking full advantage of the mistakes Fresno seemed to be careless about. At the start, the Avs scored on a penalty shot making it a 2-1 game but as Fresno would continue to pull penalties for the rest of the period it didn't seem to distract them as Bauml, Nance, and Setoguchi each contributed a goal during the second. The third would be plagued by penalties on both sides but Biller would put the final nail in the coffin.

"Biller impressed last year with Valencia and found a home with the Monsters this season. Five goals already this year, after 22 in 45 gms last year" said Colorado Eagles play by play broadcaster Brendan Price on Twitter.

Game 3: Fresno 5, Ontario 2

If you wanted a preview of what damage the Monsters could do with their special teams then this was the game to watch as both Fresno and Anaheim spent more time playing 4v4 and 5v3 than at full strength for a majority of the game.

The Avs took their first lead of the weekend during the first period prompting the Monsters to take their first time out of the season as Coach Key and Coach Verbenko tried to settle down the Monsters who couldn't stop pulling penalties.

It wouldn't be until the second period that we would see Fresno get on the board with a goal from Gavrilenko that would tie up the game at 1-1. Gagnon and Peacock would follow pursuit giving the Monsters a 3-1 lead. This would go on to frustrate Anaheim which leads to an altercation on the ice giving the Monsters another 5v3 advantage allowing Gavrilenko to get his second goal of the day. The third would see more penalties and game ejections on the Anaheim side. Leech would get the Monsters first short-handed goal of the season, something Fresno has become particularly known for during last season.

Three stars:

⭐ Leon Biller - 8 goals, 8 assists, 16 points

⭐⭐ Knute Loe - 5 W, 120 SVS, 2.01 GAA, 0.923 SV%

⭐⭐⭐ Mikhail Gavrilenko - 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points

Next Series:

Fresno (6-0-0) will return to action this weekend on the road against the Las Vegas Thunderbirds (6-0-0) starting Nov. 5th. Fresno is currently tied for first in the Pacific Division with Las Vegas.

Player Stats:

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