Fresno vs. Long Beachdec. 1 - 3, 2016 | gateway ice center
They needed a few overtime periods to do it, but the Western Division’s top team, the Long Beach Bombers, posted a three-game sweep over the Fresno Monsters to give themselves a six-point lead atop the division.
Fresno controlled the play on Thursday, out-shooting the Bombers in all three periods of what was a tremendous back-and-forth game. First, Fresno came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. Then it was the Bombers’ turn after the Monsters took their first lead at 3-2, coming back to tie it 3-3.
DEC. 1 | LONG BEACH 5 - FRESNO 4 (2 OT)
Fresno forged ahead again, but the visitors forced overtime on Kiril Markevich’s second goal of the game with 4:55 left in regulation. The game went into the second sudden-death period still knotted at 4-4, but Roman Serafimovich scored 45 seconds into the three-on-three session to give Long Beach the win. Veteran Domenic Bosetti came up big for the Bombers, making 53 saves – including nine in overtime. Nicholas Gary made 23 saves for the Monsters.
DEC. 2 | LONG BEACH 5 - FRESNO 4 (OT)
Fresno led again, 3-1, after the first period on Friday, but Long Beach came back and tied it with a pair of second-period goals. The Monsters had leads of 4-3 and 5-4 in the third, but the Bombers tied it both times to send it to overtime again. Joel Larsson scored at 3:56 of OT to once again give the Bombers a clutch win and the Monsters a single standings point. Jacob Istre assisted on three of the four Fresno goals.
The Bombers completed the sweep with a 5-1 win on Sunday. Five different Bombers players found the net, including Nikita Nikitin, who scored the first goal of the game and also picked up a pair of assists. Bosetti continued his fine season, stopping 22 of 23 shots. Jacob Rudloff scored a third period goal for the Monsters, who got 37 saves from Brett Akins.