Monday, June 13, 2016

The Puck Drops Here 6.13.16: Lake Erie Monsters, Calder Cup Champions!

By Chris Lulovics, @CLulovics

That's right you all read that title of this article right. The Lake Erie Monsters the farm club of the Columbus Blue Jackets are your NEW Calder Cup Champions for the first time since 1964. In front of a sellout crowd of over 19,000 fans at Quicken Loans Arena, the Monsters completed the sweep of the Hersey Bears in front of the biggest hockey crowd to ever witness a game in Ohio (19,665) and claimed their 10th Calder Cup in the process.

Led by 18 year old phenom Zach Werenski who is so calm with the puck leading the power play. Goalie Anton Forsberg who spent time with Columbus earlier in the season, was undefeated after becoming the starter in round 2. I can list a bunch of players but none was bigger than Oliver Bjorkstrand. Where should I start with that kid? 10 goals 6 assists for 16 points in 17 games good enough? How about adding 6 game winning goals (which tied an AHL record) or how about his 3 overtime goals in a single postseason? Those efforts were good enough to have Bjorkstrand named the MVP of the Calder Cup Finals.

And how about this Lake Erie team? First year as the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets and they did not disappoint all year. Once they got to the playoffs they swept their first round matchup against the Rockford Icehogs. Then won 4-2 against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Finally in the Western Conference Championship they swept the defending AHL Champions Ontario Reign 4-0. Facing the Hersey Bears in the Finals many thought it would go 6 or 7 games given Hersey's experience but that wasn't the case as the Monsters won 4-0 including a thrilling 1-0 OT win to clinch it at home.

The Q was rocking Saturday night. Next season should bring tons of excitement to Cleveland and Columbus as the future is really bright for the Blue Jackets. But right now celebrate Cleveland. It might not be a "major franchise" sport, but this puts Cleveland on the map for something positive.

As always #BattleTogether #CarryTheFlag #CBJ #AllOfUs #Monsters and most importantly #CalderCupChamions

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