2-0, Now It Begins
GOFFSTOWN, NH – Goaltender Martin Jones backstopped the Manchester Monarchs to a 3-0 shutout of the Portland Pirates in front of 1,514 fans at Sullivan Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (2-0-0-0) finished the exhibition season undefeated. Portland (0-2-0-0) dropped both of their preseason games against the Monarchs.
“I thought our guys that were here, that came to our camp, really showed well,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Obviously, their experience at the East Coast League level and a little bit of the American Hockey League showed through. I thought that their compete-level was good. They seemed to pick things up quickly. When you’re going with three lines for two games, back-to-back, and it’s early on in the season, it’s encouraging to see our guys play within the systems and still be able to showcase their talents.”
Click here to view complete post-game interviews from Head Coach Mark Morris and goaltender Martin Jones.
Defenseman Andrew Campbell scored at 3:13 of the first period to put the Monarchs up 1-0. Left wing Maxim Kitsyn drove toward the net with the puck but was denied on the shot. Center Jordan Weal followed up Kitsyn’s shot with an attempt of his own but goaltender Mike Lee kept the puck out of the net. The rebound trickled out to the point, where Campbell one-timed a shot into the net for the opening goal of the game.
Weal picked up a power play tally at 8:14 to put the Monarchs up 2-0. Right wing Brandon Kozun dumped the puck into the corner where right wing Scott Sabourin chased it down. Sabourin centered the puck to a crashing Weal who deflected it past Lee for his first goal of the preseason.
Right wing Brian O’Neill scored 25 seconds after Weal’s tally for his first goal of exhibition play to put the Monarchs up 3-0 at 8:39 of the third period. A scramble ensued in front of the Pirates net and forward Ian O’Connor was able to get his stick on the puck before O’Neill banged it home.
Jones (1-0-0) earned his first shutout of the preseason by stopping all 24 shots he faced. Lee (0-1-0) took the loss with 24 saves on 27 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones picked up his first shutout of the preseason with 24 saves…Jones recorded five shutouts during the 2012-13 season and has 10 shutouts in his professional career, 2010-13…Center Jordan Weal recorded four points (1-3=4) in the two preseason games.
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