Monarchs Melt IceCaps
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs snapped their six-game winless streak (0-5-0-1) with a 5-2 victory against St. John’s IceCaps at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (22-22-2-3) is fourth in the Atlantic Division with 49 points. St. John’s (21-27-1-2) is fifth in the Atlantic Division with 45 points.
“I think that tonight's win validates the way that we need to play,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “If we stick with the consistent parts of our game over time, the other team is going to turn the puck over and we're going to find success. If you get off the beaten path or get a little dozy then you're going to pay for it because it's a good league.”
The Monarchs took advantage of a turnover when right wing Brandon Kozun buried the eventual game-winning goal at 3:22 of the third period. Left wing Colton Yellow Horn intercepted a pass in between the top of the face-off circles in the IceCaps zone. Yellow Horn fed Kozun in the right wing face-off circle. Kozun wristed the puck under the arm of IceCaps goaltender Mark Dekanich on the glove side for his 13th goal of the period.
The IceCaps jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a goal by center Eric O’Dell at 1:44 of the second period. Defenseman Cody Sol’s slap shot from the left point was stopped by traffic in front of the net. Left wing Carl Klingberg collected the puck inside the left wing face-off circle. Klingberg spun around to face the net and took a quick wrist shot that was stopped by Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones but O’Dell grabbed the rebound on the left doorstep and powered it past the goaltender for the early lead.
With 1:47 remaining in the second period, right wing Tyler Toffoli scored to tie the game at 1-1. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers brought the puck to the right wing half wall before firing across the ice to center Linden Vey for a one-timer. Dekanich blocked the shot but the puck landed in front of the net. Toffoli collected the rebound and lifted the puck to the back of the net for his 22nd goal of the season.
Just 34 seconds later, right wing Anthony Stewart gave Manchester a 2-1 lead with a breakaway goal. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde cleared the puck from the left wing corner in the Monarchs zone toward center ice. Stewart beat an IceCaps defenseman and collected the puck just beyond the blue line entering St. John’s zone on the right wing. The forward brought the puck down the ice and skated across the goal mouth before slipping a backhand five-hole on Dekanich for his second goal of the season.
The IceCaps got within a goal when left wing Jason Jaffrey scored on a four-on-three power play at 5:58 of the third period. Defenseman Will O’Neill passed the puck from the right wing half wall Jaffrey on the right doorstep. Jaffrey fed O’Dell in the slot who wristed a shot that deflected off Jones out to the right doorstep. Jaffrey grabbed the loose puck and banged in the rebound for his 11th goal of the season.
Toffoli scored his second of the game to give the Monarchs a two-goal advantage at 4-2 at 14:18 of the final frame. Left wing Tanner Pearson chased a loose puck down right wing corner of the Monarchs zone. Pearson flipped a high long pass for Toffoli who took the puck in stride as he entered the IceCaps zone on the right wing. Toffoli gained the zone and wristed a shot from the right wing. Toffoli’s shot beat Dekanich high on stick side for his 24th goal of the season.
Kozun capped the scoring for the Monarchs with a power play goal at 17:59 of the third period making the score 5-2. Defenseman David Kolomatis played the puck from the center point to Kozun at the top of the left wing face-off circle. Kozun took a wrist shot that went through traffic and into the back of the net for the goal. Kozun’s 14th goal of the season was also assisted by center Jordan Weal.
Jones (12-16-3) earned his 12th win of the season stopping 22-of-24 shots. Dekanich (7-9-0) took his ninth loss of the season making 28 saves on 33 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. St. John’s was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 7-0-0-0 against the IceCaps since last season and are 4-0-0-0 against them this season…Monarchs left wing Colton Yellow Horn has a three-game point streak (1-3=4)…Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun has goal in consecutive games for the first time since October 27-28 earlier this season.
The Monarchs and IceCaps will go at it again on Saturday, February 16 at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail as he calls his 1000th game on the Monarchs Radio Network WTPL 107.7 FM The Pulse, WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.