Jones Ices Caps
ST. JOHN’S, NL – Goaltender Martin Jones made 37 saves and led the Manchester Monarchs to a 4-1 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps completing a season sweep in St John’s at the Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
Manchester (26-24-3-3) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. St. John’s (23-31-1-3) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 50 points.
“It was another exciting game,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The late goal in the second by Bryan Rodney on a nifty pass by Tyler Toffoli set us up for an energetic third period. Martin Jones was stellar again helping our crew of penalty killers weather a myriad of trips to the box. We are pleased with the weekend and the energy there is with the addition of the call-ups. Guys are pulling together and finding ways to make solid plays at key times. The chemistry seemed to be much improved over the past weeks. The hard work is paying dividends.”
The Monarchs took the lead at 2-1 with a shorthanded goal by left wing Hunter Bishop at 9:35 of the third period. Right wing Stefan Legein deflected an IceCaps pass and broke in on a two-on-two break. Legein crossed with Bishop before sending a lead pass for him springing him past the IceCaps defense. Bishop skated to the slot and finished it by shooting midway up of the stick side of IceCaps netminder Eddie Pasquale for his first tally of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a goal by defenseman Bryan Rodney at 19:56 of the second period. Center Linden Vey won a puck battle behind the IceCaps net. Vey played the puck to right wing Tyler Toffoli at the bottom of the left wing circle. Toffoli had the pass bounce off his stick and had it trickle into the center of the left wing face-off circle before finding Rodney in between the top of the face-off circles. Rodney corralled the pass and wrested a shot high on the glove side of Pasquale for his fourth goal of the season.
The IceCaps tied the game at 1-1 with a goal by center Aaron Gagnon at 2:06 of the third period. Left wing Jason Jaffray played the puck from the left point to right wing Spencer Machacek with speed down the center of the ice. Machacek skated into the left wing face-off circle before dropping it back for Gagnon in between the face-off circle. Gagnon wrested a shot past Jones for his third goal of the season.
Vey gave the Monarchs a 3-1 lead at 11:04 of the final period. Toffoli took the puck off the left wing half wall and skated between the face-off circles. Toffoli wrested a shot low to the stick side of Pasquale producing a rebound on the left doorstep. Vey swooped in and finished it for his 15th goal of the season.
Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk finished the scoring with an empty net goal at 19:53 of the third period. Bodnarchuk took possession of a loose puck in the Monarchs zone at the top of the right wing face-off circle. Bodnarchuk flipped it the length of the ice that landed in the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Jones (15-19-3) earned his 16th victory of the season making 37 saves on 38 shots. Pasquale (14-20-3) took his 20th loss of the season stopping 18-of-21 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. St. John’s went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 6-0-0-0 in St. John’s since last season and are 4-0-0-0 this season…Left wing Hunter Bishop’s shorthanded goal in the third period was his first career American Hockey League tally.
The Monarchs return home to play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday, March 6 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.