The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, beat the St. John’s Ice Caps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, Saturday night at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Monarchs, looking for a better result from Friday night, were 8-2-1-2 with 19 points on top of the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference before warm-ups while the Ice Caps were 6-6-1-0, second in the Atlantic Division. Monarchs head coach Mark Morris, for the 7th straight game, put Martin Jones in net, who leads the league in minutes played, saves, and wins. Ice Caps’ head coach, Keith McCambridge, one again, gave Eddie Pasquale the start, who had a great performance Friday night.
The first period started out much better for the Monarchs than Friday has they were able to generate shots, as well as the Ice Caps, but no one could bury one for the first half of the first. 14:54 into the first a third Monarchs penalty was called and was assigned to Vincent LoVerde who went to the box for tripping, and with that power play for the Ice Caps, they were able to find the back of the net. Ice Caps center, Eric O’Dell fought the puck back above the faceoff circle and fired a shot and deflected slightly off a Monarchs stick putting the puck right on the tape of Patrice Cormier’s stick who was able to stuff it past the left pad of Jones. That was Cormier’s first of the season, assisted by O’Dell and Ben Chiarot. Only 3 minutes after St. Johns’ first goal the Monarchs were able to cash in on a power play opportunity as Ice Caps’ Ryan Schnell went to the sin-bin for elbowing. With 7 seconds left in the Manchester’s power play, Brandon Kozun, with the puck, couldn’t get a shot off and went the end boards, he passed it back out to the faceoff circle, while being held to the boards. Andy Andreoff was the lone man there who collected the trailing puck to shoot past Pasquale glove side. Andreoff’s goal would be his second of the year, assisted by Kozun and Jordan Weal. Just 25 seconds after Andreoff’s goal he dropped the gloves with St. Johns’ J.C. Lipon, but that would be the last big event to happen in the first, and when the teams went to the locker rooms, the shot total was 14 to 12, in favor of the Monarchs.
In the second, there was a lot of end to end action between these two teams for the majority of the seconds, with few stoppages in play and great saves by both goaltenders. Finally, another puck would cross the goal line at 15:09 of the second as Monarchs’ Robbie Czarnik passed the puck over to LoVerde who shot it from the top of the right faceoff circle which was originally saved by Pasquale but with no one around in the slot, Hunter Bishop buried the big rebound through Pasquale, making 2-1 Monarchs. Bishop’s goal would be his first of the year, assisted by LoVerde and Czarnik. There were only two penalties in the second, at the very end of the period when the buzzer sounded as Andreoff and Kael Mouillierat both went off for roughing. With little penalty action in the second, it was a very exciting back-and-forth game for the fans. Even though Manchester scored in the second, the Ice Caps put on 3 more shots on net, making the second period total 13-10.
With the ice resurfaced, and the teams coming back on to the ice, the monarchs were 20:00 minutes away from splitting this weekend series in St. John’s. The period didn’t start off the way the Monarchs wanted it to as Kozun was called 2 minutes for hooking, just 2:12 into the third and once again, the Ice Caps took advantage of their power play. Mouillierat, who received the puck from Cormier, passed it to O’Dell from the corner of the boards, who couldn’t put it through with traffic. With everyone scrambling in front of Jones, the puck found its way back out where, out of nowhere, Mouillierat came in and squeezed by Jones’ shoulder and the post, tying the game at 2 apiece. With plenty of time left to play in the third. The third period resembled the second a lot with end to end action. Midway through the third there was a penalty on the Ice Caps’. Although Manchester had great chances to take the lead they couldn’t capitalize on it. With the clock ticking down to less than a minute to go in the game, what the Monarchs didn’t want to happen, had happened. A penalty with 57 seconds to go, a hooking penalty was called on Andreoff who took down Chiarot charging to the net. The Monarchs penalty kill unit was on the ice trying to prevent the Ice Caps from taking the lead with under a minute to go in regulation. As the Ice Caps tried to enter the zone, it was broken up by the Monarchs and the puck went to center ice where right winger, Brian O’Neill got the puck, split two defenseman and had a breakaway chance. O’Neill worked in on Pasquale and backhanded the puck over Pasquale with 13 seconds to go in the game, giving the Monarchs a 3-2 lead and shocking the St. John’s crowd. St. John’s couldn’t do anything with those 13 seconds left in the third and the Monarchs held on for an amazing win. The shots at the end of three periods were 34-33, Monarchs. Manchester was 1 for 2 on the power play, while St. John’s scored on 2 of their 5 power play chances. The three stars of the game were third, O’Dell, second, Mouillierat, and first, Cormier, surprising no Monarchs made the three stars of the game.
The Monarchs were able to split the weekend series against the Ice Caps and improved t 9-2-1-2 with 21 points, staying on top of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference while the Ice Caps fell to 6-7-1-0, 11 in the conference and 3rd in the Atlantic Division. The Monarchs return home, Wednesday, November 13th for a 10:00 am “Education Day” game against the Norfolk Admirals and the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH.