Positive spin on another loss
A couple days have passed, but it's still on my mind.
The Lake Erie Monsters (Cleveland's minor-league hockey team, in case you didn't know) had a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven AHL North Division semifinal series against the Manitoba Moose. That series ended with Game 7 on Tuesday night, with the Monsters losing, 4-1, their third straight loss.
It ended a very exciting season of hockey at The Q, but also brought back the feeling of another Cleveland team favored to win, losing too early in the playoffs. I don't need to remind anyone the Cavs had the best record in the NBA two seasons in a row, yet didn't make the NBA Finals, let alone win a title. The Indians had the best record in all of baseball in 2007 and a 3-1 lead over Boston in the ALCS, only to lose three games in a row to end their season, just as the Monsters did this past week.
Now that everyone is angry and thinks I'm just another bitter Cleveland sports fan, I'll get to my real point. (Plus, I'm 22. I haven't endured enough pain from Cleveland sports to be all that bitter yet.) Minor-league sports teams rely on promotions and group deals for their attendance during the season. The Lake County Captains (the Indians' Class A affiliate) have summer camps at Classic Park all the time during the summer. They use ticket deals and food deals and giveaways to draw fans to the ballpark. But when these teams make the playoffs, and the games are schedule on short notice, these promotions can't be planned.
The fact the Monsters drew 10,277 fans Tuesday night for Game 7, when the game wasn't even a sure thing until Easter Sunday around 6:30 p.m., is a great sign for hockey in Cleveland. I went to Game 1 on Saturday, April 16, and the attendance was 7,908. I can't speak for Game 2 or Game 6, which were both at The Q, because I wasn't there, but the first and last games of the series had fantastic crowds. It was a great atmosphere and I'm extremely proud of Cleveland for going out supporting their team. I hope this is the beginning of good things for hockey in our city.
I'll throw in a plea here at the end. Hockey is a great sport. A lot of people don't know much about it and haven't given in a chance. Take in a Monsters game at The Q next winter. It's a faster pace than baseball and football, without the dozens of timeouts in basketball. Give it a chance. Let's get hockey to grow in Cleveland
Follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey
-- Dom Anselmo | DAnselmo@News-Herald.com | @DomAnselmo