Lok’d In Win
ST. JOHN’S, NL – Center Andrei Loktionov scored the game-winning goal and the Manchester Monarchs opened 2013 with a 3-2 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps at the Mile One Centre on Friday night.
Manchester (15-15-2-2) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 34 points. The IceCaps (15-19-0-1) are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 31 points.
“Tonight, the end result was good,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The win wasn’t all that different than most other recent outings. Martin Jones played spectacular and our penalty killers did a nice job. Jonesy’s effort was his ‘A’ game performance and he deserves credit for the way he played. We’ll take it. Wins have been scarce lately.”
Manchester took the lead for good with a goal by Loktionov at 9:21 of the third period. Monarchs left wing Dwight King took the puck off the end boards and found Loktionov on the right doorstep with a backhanded pass as he fell to the ice at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Loktionov finished the play with a wrist shot that gave him his sixth goal of the season and the Monarchs a 3-1 advantage.
Right wing Tyler Toffoli opened the scoring for the Monarchs with a goal at 2:02 of the first period. Center Linden Vey played the puck off the right wing half wall to Toffoli at the top of the right wing face-off circle. Toffoli one-timed Vey’s pass and beat IceCaps goaltender Eddie Pasquale for the goal. Toffoli’s 15th goal of the season was also assisted by left wing Tanner Pearson.
Toffoli scored his second goal of the game at 4:57 of the first period giving Manchester a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Thomas Hickey chipped the puck off the right wing boards and into the IceCaps zone. Vey grabbed the puck off the boards with speed and skated around the back of the net before finding Toffoli inside the left wing face-off circle. Toffoli quickly redirected Vey’s pass sneaking the shot past Pasquale for his 16th goal of the season.
IceCaps right wing Spencer Machacek made the score 2-1 with a goal at the 16-minute mark of the opening period. Defenseman Ben Chariot took a feed from center Ben Maxwell before wristing a shot from the top of the left wing face-off circle. Chariot’s pass was stopped by Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones but produced a rebound in front of the net. Machacek skated across the front of the net, grabbed the puck and flipped it up and in for his eighth tally of the season.
St. John’s pulled within one with a goal by right wing Raymond Sawada at 18:22 of the third period. Defenseman Zach Redmond wristed a shot from the center point that deflected off left wing Jason Jaffrey and out to Sawada who was inside the right wing face-off circle. Sawada took a high wrist shot that found the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season.
Jones (8-13-2) earned his eighth victory of the season stopping 32-of-34 shots. Pasquale (8-13-1) took his 13th loss of the season making 26 saves on 29 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. St. John’s was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs ended a three-game losing streak…The Monarchs are 2-0-0-0 against the IceCaps this season…Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones ended his nine-game losing streak (0-8-1)…Jones’ nine consecutive losses is a Monarchs all-time record for a goaltender.
The Monarchs will finish their two-game set against the IceCaps at the Mile One Centre at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 5. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.