St. John’s 'Caps Monarchs 1,000th
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs celebrated their 1,000th game in franchise history but fell to the St. John’s IceCaps, 5-3, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (22-23-2-3) is fourth in the Atlantic Division with 49 points. St. John’s (22-27-1-2) is fifth in the Atlantic Division with 47 points.
“Our energy in the first period was great,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We had a letdown to start the second period after they killed a power play. They rallied from that point forward. The momentum switched and we failed to execute the things we did so well the night before. It is important to not take shifts off and to pay attention to detail.”
The IceCaps took the lead for good at 4-2 on a power play goal by right wing Spencer Machacek at 8:24 of the third period. With a loose puck in a scramble in front of the net defenseman Julian Melchiori played it over to Machacek inside the left wing face-off circle. Machacek one-timed a shot past Jones for the goal. Left wing Jason Jaffray also recorded an assist on Melchiori’s 10th goal of the season.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a breakaway goal by left wing Tanner Pearson at 3:55 of the first period. Right wing Tyler Toffoli sent the puck over to center Linden Vey as he gained the IceCaps zone on the right wing. Vey carried the puck to the right point drawing a defender in before flipping a pass to Pearson sending him in on a breakaway. Pearson wristed a shot passed midway up the stick side of IceCaps netminder Mark Dekanich’s for his 13th goal of the season.
The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead with a goal by right wing Brandon Kozun at 9:43 of the first period as a power play expired. Left wing Colton Yellow Horn passed out of the right wing corner to Kozun in the right wing face-off circle. Kozun played the puck down to center Jordan Weal in the trapezoid behind the IceCaps net. Weal corralled the pass and sent it back to Kozun at the right doorstep where he banged it passed Dekanich for his 14th goal of the season.
Netminder Chris Carrozzi relieved Dekanich after the Monarchs second goal.
The IceCaps closed the deficit to 2-1 with a goal by left wing Carl Klingberg at 3:20 in the second period. Klingberg took a feed from left wing Kael Mouillierat before skating out of the left wing corner. Klingberg took a bad angle shot that Jones denied. Klingberg followed his own shot and roofed the rebound up and over the stick side shoulder of Jones for the goal. Center Eric O’Dell recorded an assist on Klingberg’s ninth goal of the season.
Center Aaron Gagnon tied the game with a goal 27 seconds later for the IceCap’s at 2-2. Gagnon received a breakout pass in stride from Jaffray in their defensive zone. Gagnon flew through the neutral zone and into the Monarchs zone. With a Monarchs defenseman on him, Gagnon managed to take a shot from the slot. Gagnon’s shot beat Jones five-hole. Melchiori also had an assist on Gagnon’s first of the season.
The IceCaps grabbed a 3-2 lead at 12:06 of the second period with a goal by center Patrice Cormier. Carrozzi played the puck from behind his own net to defenseman Will O’Neill who started the breakout for the IceCaps. O’Neill gained the neutral zone before playing the puck to Cormier who split the Monarchs defense as he entered their zone with speed. Cormier got past the defense and broke in on Jones before wristing a shot five-hole for his fourth goal of the season.
The Monarchs scored late to bring the score to 4-3 with a goal by Kozun at 15:40 of the third period. Defenseman Bryan Rodney received a pass at the right point. Rodney fed center Jordan Weal at the center point who took a one-timer that Kozun tipped into the back of the net for his 16th goal of the season.
The IceCaps finished the scoring with an empty net goal at 19:50 of the third period. Machacek poked the puck free from the Monarchs as they controlled the puck in the IceCaps zone. Jaffray raced to the loose puck and wasted no time firing a puck the length of the ice that found its way into the net for his 12th goal of the season.
Jones (12-17-3) took his 17th loss of the season stopping 33-of-37 shots. Dekanich (7-9-0) made three saves on five shots. Carrozzi (1-0-0) earned his first win of the season in relief of Dekanich making 15 saves on 16 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. St. John’s was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
Notables: The game marked the Monarchs 1,000th game in franchise history…Monarchs broadcaster Ken Cail also broadcasted his 1,000th consecutive game with the Monarchs…The Monarchs are 7-1-0-0 against the IceCaps this season…Left wing Colton Yellow Horn is on a four –game point streak (1-4=5)…Yellow Horn has also tallied at least a point in all four games he has played since joining the Monarchs...Right wing Brandon Kozun is on a three-goal game streak (four goals)…Center Linden Vey is on a five-game point streak (1-4=5)
The Monarchs travel to the XL Center on Sunday, February 17 to face the Connecticut Whale at 3:00 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.