Monarchs Can’t Swim With Whale
HARTFORD, CT – The Manchester Monarchs saw their four-game winning streak come to an end as they fell to the Connecticut Whale, 4-1, at the XL Center on Friday night.
Manchester (21-18-2-2) ranks second in the Atlantic Division with 46 points. Connecticut (19-20-1-3) is in third place in the Northeast Division with 42 points.
“Tonight was a lackluster performance on both sides of the puck for our Monarchs,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “There were too many turnovers and forced pucks. We didn't generate much offense and Connecticut won too many puck battles which led to goals in their favor. Our puck support was poor most of the game although Tyler Toffoli's pass to Linden Vey was well executed on our lone goal. They scored two fortunate goals early on and that set the tone. Our push back efforts came in spurts so we were never a threat to rally. We are much better than this showing. A more determined collective effort and a greater sense of urgency is what we are looking for in Portland (tomorrow night).”
Connecticut regained the lead at 2-1 with a goal by right wing Christian Thomas at 7:32 of the second period. Thomas won a race to the puck in the left wing face-off corner. Thomas spun around and fired a bad angle shot that deflected off of a Monarchs defenseman and through the stick side of Monarchs goaltender Peter Mannino for the eventual game-winning goal and his ninth goal of the season.
The Whale opened the scoring at 18:54 of the first period with a power play goal by left wing Brandon Mashinter. As the Whale cycled the puck in the Monarchs zone, right wing Benn Ferriero fed the puck from inside the left wing face-off circle to right wing Brandon Segal at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Segal wristed a bad angle shot that Mannino denied. Segal’s shot produced a rebound where Mashinter banged in the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
The Monarchs tied the game at 1-1 with goal by center Linden Vey at 2:30 of the second period. Right wing Tyler Toffoli gained the Whale zone on the left wing boards before passing to Vey skating behind the Whale defense between the face-off circles. Vey wasted not time wristing a shot from the slot that finished high on the glove side of Whale netminder Cameron Talbot for his 11th goal of the season.
Segal gave the Whale a 3-1 lead with a goal at 13:31 of the second period. Center Kris Newbury took the puck off the right wing half wall and played it to Segal entering the Monarchs zone on the right wing. Segal received the puck in stride and skated to the center of the right wing face-off circle before wristing a shot that beat Mannino five-hole for the goal. Segal’s 12th goal of the season was also assisted by defenseman Blake Parlett.
The Whale opened up a three-goal lead at 19:05 of the second period with a goal by defenseman Mike Vernace making the score 4-1. Vernace corralled a clearing attempt by the Monarchs at the left point. Vernace wristed a shot that found it’s way through traffic beating Mannino high on the stick side of Mannino for his second goal of the season.
Mannino (10-6-0) took his sixth loss of the season making 28 saves on 32 shots. Talbot (14-17-0) earned his 14th victory of the season stopping 28-of-29 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Connecticut went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs had a four-game winning streak snapped with the loss…The Monarchs are 1-2-0-0 against the Whale this season…The Monarchs are 7-3-0-0 in January…Center Linden Vey’s goal was his 13th point in 10 games for the month of January.
The Monarchs travel to play the Portland Pirates in game eight of the inaugural VIP Cup at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.