The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, saw their winning streak come to a close Friday night against the St. John’s Ice Caps, AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador.
As the Monarchs flew up to St. John’s for a 2-game weekend series, they found themselves 1st in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with an 8-1-1-2 record and 19 points while their opponent, the St. John’s Ice Caps posted a record of 5-6-1-0 and 11 points which made them 2nd in the Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference. Coming into the night, Manchester was on a 3-game winning streak and looked to keep it going. Monarchs head coach, Mark Morris, gave Martin Jones the start, which would make it his 6th consecutive start in net. At the other end of the ice, Ice Caps head coach; Keith McCambridge put Eddie Pasquale between the pipes.
The first period started in favor of the Ice Caps as they controlled most of the play. Only 1:35 into the first period the Ice Caps struck first with a shot by Julian Melchiori just inside the blue line after the puck was won in a faceoff by Kyle MacKinnon. The shot did get re-directed in front by Jason Jaffray, who was credited with the goal. The shots kept on coming left and right on Jones as the Ice Caps dominated the period. Another goal by St. John’s was scored on a power play when Monarchs’ left winger, Andy Andreoff went to the sin-bin for hooking at 4:53 of the first. Ice Caps’ center John Albert took advantage with a quick shot which was able to get by Jones making it a 2-0 game. The assists on the goal went to Eric O’Dell and J.C. Lipon. The Ice Caps were only getting started from there. There went on to be 7 more penalties on the first, one in particular assigned to Jordan Weal at the very end of the first but St. John’s wasn’t able to capitalize on it in the 2nd. By the end of the first period the shots were 13 to 4 in favor of the Ice Caps.
The second period didn’t look as bad as the first for the Monarchs as they were generating more shots on Pasquale but he was a brick wall in net tonight. Although the Monarchs had been getting momentum throughout the period, St. John’s found the back of the net again when a delayed penalty was called and Pasquale went to the bench for the extra attacker. With the extra man on the ice, Blair Riley took a shot from the hash marks going past Jones for a 3 goal lead over Manchester; assists for that goal went to John Albert and Ben Chiarot. That third goal didn’t really seem to affect the Monarchs at all when pucks were still being fired off sticks but Pasquale was there to stop them. Manchester did get to power play opportunities during the period but weren’t able to cash-in but they were so strong that period they actually shot out the Ice Caps 13 to 9.
With a comeback in mind, the Monarchs continued to pressure the opposing team and with only 3:19 into the third Monarchs defenseman, Nicolas Deslauriers, broke Pasquale’s shutout bid firing a shot past him just 2 seconds after an Ice Caps’ Ben Chiarot’s penalty expired, rookie defenseman, Colin Miller tallied an assist with that play. As things looked to rebound for the Monarchs, St. John’s opened up a 3 goal lead once again when a loose puck in front of Jones was picked up by Kael Mouillierat beating him glove side making it a 4-1 game, O’Dell and Melchiori both collected their second assist of the game on that goal. For the most part, the third period was played equally between both teams were getting shots off but another bad break for the Monarchs happened as a turnover occurred in the Monarchs zone and was picked up by O’Dell who shot it past an off-guard Jones increasing the lead 5-1 with exactly five minutes to go in the third. On last goal came for the Manchester as right winger Scott Sabourin knocked one past Pasquale from the right wing faceoff dot closing the gap to three but wasn’t enough as the Monarchs dropped this game 5-2 to the St. John’s Ice Caps in front of 6,287 fans. The total shots on goal were 32-30 Ice Caps and the Monarchs were 1 for 5 on the power play while the Monarchs went 1 for 8 on the power play. The three stars of the game were third, John Albert with a goal and an assist, second was Eric O’Dell who tallied a goal and two assists, and with an outstanding performance, Eddie Pasquale earned the first star.
The Monarchs fell to 8-2-1-2 with 19 points, still finding themselves on top of the Atlantic Division while the Ice Caps improved to 6-6-1-0 and are 6 points behind the Monarchs in the Atlantic Division. Jones also fell to 8-2-2. A rematch will take place Saturday night at 7:30 pm NST (6:00 pm EST) against the Ice Caps at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. The Monarchs return home Wednesday, November 13th for a 10:00 am “Education Day” game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH.