The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, defeated the Providence Bruins, AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins 4-1 Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Monarchs, coming off a 5-2 win against the Bruins in Providence, RI the night before, looked to sweep the home-and-home series. Coming into Saturday night, the Bruins were 4-3-0-2 while the Monarchs were on top of the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-1-1-2 and 17 points. Providences’ head coach, Bruce Cassidy opted to put in Malcolm Subban between the pipes after replacing Niklas Svedberg, who gave up 4 goals, Friday night. At the other end of the ice Monarchs head coach, Mark Morris, placed Martin Jones in net for his 5th straight start.
The first period started out with the Monarchs controlling most, if not, all of the play. They spent about the first half of the period in the Bruins’ zone, getting shot after shots off. It wasn’t until 9:14 of the first period when the Monarchs finally got by Subban, on a perfect play. Forward, Brandon Kozun received the puck in the left faceoff circle after passing to Jordan Weal, on the blue line, who then passed it right back to him. Kozun then made a clean cross-pass over to Tanner Pearson on the other faceoff dot who gave it to Andy Andreoff on the side of a wide open net with no coverage. Andreoff’s goal, which was a power play goal after Bruins’ Kevan Miller went to the box for tripping, made it 1-0 Monarchs halfway through. Minutes after there was a shot from the center of the zone by Hunter Bishop which looked like it went in but hit the left post and was waved off after a video review. The Monarchs kept on getting more and more momentum getting numerous shots on goal but were unable to bury one, but at the end of one the shots were in favor of the Monarchs, 18 to 6.
The second period started out much like the first, with the Monarchs having possession of the puck. Only 2:32 into the second the Monarchs tallied another goal when Sean Backman fired a shot along the boards which hit Subban, who was scrabbling to cover it up but there was too much traffic in front of the net, including Monarchs’ Brian O’Neill trying to get the puck, but Backman was able to find the puck again in front of the net to tap it past Subban to make it 2-0 Monarchs. The Providence Bruins wouldn’t go down with a fight though as they started to find their groove getting more shots off but Jones was stellar making multiple saves including a huge glove save halfway through the period. Once the Bruins got on the power play with a penalty to Monarchs rookie defenseman Colin Miller, Providence soon found the back of the net 38 seconds into the power play as forward Jared Knight was behind the net, right outside of the trapezoid fed a great pass to Seth Griffith in the slot, right in front of Jones who was able to beat him through the pads, making it 2-1 Monarchs at 18:43 of the second. That was the last big play in the second and when the teams went back to their locker rooms, the shot difference decreased to 7 as it was 29-22 Monarchs.
The third period was more back and forth action for the most part with good scoring chances coming from either side but when Brian O’Neill found the puck near center ice he raced down towards Subban but was interfered with enough for referee, Geno Binda to grant O’Neill with a penalty was shot at 17:33 of the third. Brian worked in on Subban making a great move to make Subban open a huge 5-hole where he buried the puck. That would be O’Neill’s second of the year. The clock was about to hit 2 minutes when the Bruins pulled Subban putting the extra-attacker on for Manchester. Entering the Bruins zone with the puck, Kozun was being pressured and decided to send the puck over to Nick Deslauriers who scored with 54 seconds to go to seal the win. The Monarchs beat the Bruins 4-1 in front of 5,441 people in attendance, including Los Angeles Kings’ General Manager, Dean Lombardi.
The Monarchs were 1 for 2 on the power play with 33 shots total, while the P-Bruins were 1 for 4 on the PP and put 31 shots on Jones. The three stars of the game were, third, Bruins’ Malcolm Subban, second, Monarchs’ Sean Backman, and first, with another outstanding performance, was Martin Jones, who received his 8th win of the year, the most among all goalies in the AHL. The Bruins fell to 4-4-0-2, 3rd in the Atlantic Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference while the Monarchs improved to an impressive 8-1-1-2, leading the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 19 points. The Monarchs have proved they can play without three key players, Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey, who were recalled by the Kings Friday afternoon and Monarchs’ captain Andrew Campbell, when he got injured in a fight on Friday night against the P-Bruins.
The Monarchs will embark on a 2-game weekend road trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador as they take on the St. John’s Ice Caps Friday and Saturday, November 8th and 9th. They return home on Wednesday, November 13th for a 10:00 am Education Day game against the Norfolk Admirals at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH.