The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, fell short by one goal to their Atlantic division rival St. Johns IceCaps Sunday afternoon after a tough hard battle.

The Manchester Monarchs played an afternoon matinee on Sunday in Manchester, NH against a hungry IceCaps team. The St. Johns IceCaps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, who sat 14th in the Eastern Conference for the Calder Cup Playoffs coming into the afternoon, the Monarchs entered the afternoon after an impressive comeback win from being down 3-0 to win 6-4 over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night. The IceCaps did have a new member to their team; center Matthew Kirzinger who has been playing for Ferris State University for the beginning part of his season. IceCaps head coach, Keith McCambridge, put goaltender Mark Dekanich in net for the second straight night after collecting a 4-1 win last night against the Portland Pirates, while Monarchs head coach, Mark Morris put Martin Jones in for his third straight game.

The opening period started with good chances for both teams left and right. The first penalty of the afternoon came at the 5:18 mark of the period and was charged to IceCaps center Ben Maxwell for holding. The Monarchs were unable to capitalize on their power play opportunity. The first goal of the night also went to the IceCaps at the 7:43 mark of the period when IceCaps’ Kael Mouillierat netted his 9 of the year right after Maxwell’s penalty was killed. Maxwell did score from his backside but was them waived off to keep it a close 1-0 game. With the IceCaps having 2 power plays and the Monarchs with 1 power play chance neither team could come up with any goals. Only 39 seconds left in the first period the Monarchs found the back of the net when the Monarchs got a turnover in the IceCaps zone leading to Linden Vey’s 18th goal of the year. After the first period the shots were favoring the shots 10-8.

          Only 1:57 into the second, Monarchs center, Jordan Weal went to the sin-bin for high-sticking which led to the IceCaps 2nd goal of the night from Maxwell at the 3:19 mark of the second, Aaron Gagnon got the assist on that goal giving him a 10 game scoring streak tying Paul Postma’s, currently on the Jets, team record. The Monarchs got another penalty for too many men on the ice giving the IceCaps there fourth power play opportunity of the night but couldn’t capitalize. The Monarchs went on to tie it at 11:52 of the second from a goal by Brandon Kozun, his 23rd of the year. After a scrum in the crease with just a minute into the third Monarchs Andy Andreoff and Robbie Czarnik went to the box for Manchester while Mouillierat for St. Johns giving them once again, another power play. The Icecaps would make something happen with that power play with a goal from Eric O’Dell, they would go on to tack on another goal by Maxwell, his 2nd of the night. The Monarchs wouldn’t go away sleeping, they would score again from there captain, Marc-Andre Cliche, his second game back from a lower body injury, at the 16;24 mark of the third. Unfortunately for the Monarchs they we unable to score again with Jones pulled giving the IceCaps a 4-3 win over the Monarchs.

The IceCaps improved to 27-33-1 while the Monarchs fell to 30-28-3. The IceCaps will travel to Albany, NY to take on the Albany Devils (27-25-1) on Wednesday night while the Monarchs will Travel to the DCU Center in Worcester, MA to play the Worcester Sharks (29-26-1) and are 11th in the Eastern Conference while the Monarchs will remain in 9th place.


Justin Cummings