Monarchs Can’t ‘Cap-italize
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs took a tied game into the third period before falling to the St. John’s IceCaps, 4-3, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (30-28-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points. The IceCaps (27-33-1-4) are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.
“Penalties influenced a big part in this game,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We still had a chance coming out for the third period. Being in the penalty box so much expended our energy. We couldn’t seem to find the back of the net with a lot of our chances in the second period. The opportunities were there. That was the good thing. The bad thing is we didn’t convert.”
Center Ben Maxwell gave the IceCaps lead for good with a goal at 11:31 of the third making the score 4-2. Maxwell won a puck battle along at the right wing half wall. Maxwell skated around the bottom of the right wing face-off circle and flicked a bad angle shot off of who fired the puck off of Jones leg pad and into the back of the cage. Center Aaron Gagnon and left wing Jason Jaffray recorded assists on Maxwell’s seventh goal of the season.
St. John’s opened the scoring at the 7:43 minute mark in the first period with a goal by left wing Kael Moulillierat. Left wing Josh Lunden sent the puck around the back of the Monarchs net to center Eric O’Dell who carried the puck to the right face-off circle and fired a wrist shot on Monarchs netminder Martin Jones that produced a rebound on the right doorstep. Moulillierat was waiting for the rebound and put the puck in the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
Monarchs center Linden Vey tied the game at 1-1 with 39 seconds left in the first period. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde sent the puck down the right wing boards to center Andy Andreoff behind the IceCaps net. Andreoff played the puck out front to Vey in the slot. Vey wristed the puck past St. John’s netminder Mark Dekanich for his 18th goal of the season.
The IceCaps broke the 1-1 tie at the 3:19 mark of the second period with a power play goal by Maxwell. O’Dell battled a Monarchs defenseman for the puck on the right wing boards before sending the puck across ice to Maxwell at the left point. Maxwell skated in to the top of the left wing face-off circle before firing a shot through a screen and under Jones’ stick. Gagnon also recorded an assist on Maxwell’s sixth goal of the season.
Right wing Brandon Kozun tied the game at 2-2 for the Monarchs at 11:52 in the first period. Left wing Colton Yellow Horn carried the puck around the back of the net to the left wing boards and sent a pass up to defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk who was waiting at the left point. Bodnarchuk let a wrist shot go and Kozun tipped it past Dekanich for his 23rd goal of the season.
St. John's broke a tie game at 17:40 of the third period with a power play goal by O’Dell. Gagnon started the play as he carried the puck along the left wing half wall before finding Lunden at the left doorstep. The pass bounced off Lunden’s stick and trickled across the top of the crease where O’Dell tipped it into the back of the net for his 24th goal of the season.
The Monarchs closed the deficit with a goal by left wing Marc-Andre Cliche at 16:24 of the third period making the score 4-3. Right wing Brian O’Neill carried the puck around the back of the Monarchs net before sending a pass from the left wing corner to defenseman Nick Deslauriers at the left point. Deslauriers ripped a slap shot on Dekanich who deflected the initial shot. Cliche gloved the puck out of the air and settled it down on his forehand before burying it for his ninth goal of the season.
Jones (20-22-4) took his 22nd loss of the season stopping 29-of-33 shots. IceCaps netminder Mark Dekanich (12-12-0) earned his twelfth victory of the season making 32 saves on 35 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. St. John's was 2-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun scored giving him eight goals in eight games against the St. John’s IceCaps this season…Monarchs defenseman Nick Deslauriers has three assists in his last two games.
The Monarchs will travel to play the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center on Wednesday, March 27 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.