The last team to qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs is making the most of its appearance.
The Cleveland Monsters are heading to the second round after eliminating the Syracuse Crunch with a 3-0 win in Game 4 of their best-of-five series at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Thursday night.
The Monsters, who qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, completed the upset of the North Division champions a week after their parent club, the Columbus Blue Jackets, shocked the NHL by sweeping the Crunch’s parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Liam Foudy, Columbus’s first-round choice (18th overall) in last year’s NHL Draft, scored his first two professional goals to lead Cleveland’s offense in Game 4.
Alex Broadhurst also scored, and Sonny Milano registered two assists for the Monsters.
Brad Thiessen made 38 saves for his fifth career Calder Cup Playoff shutout. Thiessen posted a .942 save percentage in four starts during the series (97 saves on 103 shots).
Cleveland will take on Toronto in the North Division Finals beginning Wednesday night.
North Division Semifinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N4-Cleveland Monsters
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Cleveland 5, SYRACUSE 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Cleveland 5, SYRACUSE 1 | Recap
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Syracuse 2, CLEVELAND 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 25 – CLEVELAND 3, Syracuse 0