Monarchs Hit Road Block In Connecticut
HARTFORD, CT – The Manchester Monarchs opened their six-game road trip with a loss to the Connecticut Whale, 3-2, at the XL Center on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (22-24-2-3) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 49 points. Connecticut (25-21-4-2) is in second place in the Northeast Division with 56 points.
“We were in the drivers seat for most of the game, all but the tail end,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We got caught puck watching in the defensive end and it cost us the win. Teaching defense to gifted offensive minded young players is a tall order. In time you hope it sinks in. We’ll continue to stress the importance of defending and why we need to take great pride in it. We lost after playing so well for the majority of the game on Sunday after having three games in less than three days. The loss is a bitter pill to swallow."
The Whale scored within 16 seconds of tying the game when left wing Brandon Mashinter scored at 17:33 of the third period. Right wing Brandon Segal gained control of the puck in the right wing corner. Segal fed Mashinter inside the right wing face-off circle where he wrested a shot high on the glove side of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones for his seventh goal of the season and the eventual game-winning tally.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a power play goal by center Linden Vey at 6:24 of the first period. Right wing Tyler Toffoli played the puck out of the right wing corner of the Whale zone to Vey in the slot. Vey redirected the hard pass to the back of the net for the goal. Vey’s 13th goal of the season was also assisted by center Andy Andreoff.
The Whale tied the game at 1-1 with a goal by right wing Christian Thomas at 7:34 of the second period. Defenseman Blake Parlett fed left wing Michael Haley on the left wing as he gained the Monarchs zone. Haley skated in and passed to Thomas in the right wing face-off circle. Thomas wrested a shot high on the glove side of Jones for his 13th goal of the season.
Toffoli gave the Monarchs a 2-1 lead with a goal at 19:06 of the second period. Toffoli played the puck off the left wing half wall to defenseman Nick Deslauriers at the left point who played it right back. Toffoli skated off the left wing half wall to in between the top of the face-off circles before wristing a shot that beat whale goaltender Jason Missiaen for the goal. Toffoli’s 24th goal of the season was also assisted by defenseman Vincent LoVerde.
Connecticut tied the game at 2-2 with a goal by defenseman Steve Eminger at 17:17 of the third period. Segal skated into the Monarchs zone on the right wing. Segal reached the right wing face-off circle and fed a pass to Eminger in the slot on the back door. Eminger redirected the pass into the open net for the goal. Defenseman Sean Collins also tallied an assist on Eminger’s first goal of the season.
Jones (12-18-3) took his 18th loss of the season making 26 saves on 29 shots. Missiaen (6-4-1) earned his sixth victory of the season stopping 27-of-29 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Connecticut went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs have a record of (1-5-0-1) in February…Monarchs left wing Colton Yellow Horn had a four-game points streak (1-4=5) streak end…Monarchs center Linden Vey extended his point streak to six games (2-4=6).
The Monarchs travel to play the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 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.