HARTFORD, CT – Manchester Monarchs’ goaltender Martin Jones stopped all four of the St. John’s IceCaps snipers he faced to secure a 4-3 shootout victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon.
“They’re a good hockey team and I thought our guys competed pretty hard and we didn’t have too many glitches”, said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “(Martin) Jones was stellar and he had to be. (There) was a path getting worn down to the box there so he had to come up big and the killers did a great job so give them a lot of credit for us hanging in there. That was a huge goal, too, that (Nick) Deslauriers scored in those dying seconds (in the second period) to give us some life. I was happy that (Steve) Quailer got his first goal. It’s always nice to see that happen and kind of gets him acclimated to things here. The shootout was the difference and guys executed early. (Nick) Shore got us off on the right foot and nice goals followed. Then again, Jones was the difference for us. I suspected you probably won’t see him here again in Manchester any time soon but kudos to him for the job that he’s done here.”
Forward Nick Shore and center Jordan Weal were able to beat IceCaps netminder Michael Hutchinson in the shootout while left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli were denied. Right wing Jerome Samson, left wings Jason Jaffray and Kael Mouillierat, and center Eric O’Dell were each denied by Jones to earn the shootout victory for Manchester.
Right wing Steve Quailer scored his second goal of the season, his first tally in a Monarchs uniform, to give Manchester a 1-0 lead at 5:24 of the second period. Right wing Scott Sabourin led a 3-on-2 charge across center ice into the IceCaps zone. Sabourin passed the puck to Quailer, who skated down toward the right face-off circle. Quailer maneuvered around a sliding IceCaps defender before wristing a shot past the stick of Hutchinson for the score. Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk was also credited with an assist on the play.
The IceCaps tied the game less than two minutes later when left wing Carl Klingberg scored his 14th tally of the season. Center Eric O’Dell skated into the zone along the right wall before sending the puck back to Klingberg at the top of the right face-off circle. Klingberg set his stance and blasted a shot toward Jones. The puck flew past Jones’ glove and into the net to tie the game 1-1 at 6:50 of the second period.
Center Adam Lowry gave St. John’s a 2-1 lead at 14:16 of the second period. Samson collected the puck along the left wall in the Monarchs’ zone before passing the puck back to Mouillierat at the top of the left face-off circle. Mouillierat sent a pass to Lowry as he skated across the front of the net. Lowry was able to backhand the puck past Jones’ glove and into the right corner of the net for the score. The goal was Lowry’s 13th tally of the season.
The Monarchs tied things up at 19:58 of the second period when Deslauriers recorded his 16th goal of the season. Defenseman Derek Forbort received a pass from Toffoli and fired a shot toward the net from the point. Hutchinson made the initial save, but Deslauriers was there to get his stick on the rebound and poke the puck into the back of the net. The score made it a 2-2 game with 2.1 seconds remaining in the second period.
Center John Albert helped St. John’s regain the lead just 1:35 into the third period. Albert received a pass from defenseman Ben Chiarot along the blueline and flipped the puck toward the net. After being redirected by one or two Monarchs players, the puck eventually found its way behind Jones for the score. The goal was Albert’s 10th tally of the season. Defenseman Zach Redmond was also credited with an assist on the play.
Manchester tied the game once again when Deslauriers scored his second goal of the night. Toffoli met Hutchinson in the trapezoid and was able to steal the puck and send a centering pass across the face of the net. An IceCaps defender made an attempt to clear the puck out of the zone, but a streaking Deslauriers fired the puck back toward the net before Hutchinson could regain position. The score was Deslauriers’ 17th goal of the season and tied the game at 3-3 at 7:30 in the final period of regulation.
Jones (15-3-2) collected his 15th win of the season, stopping 40-of-43 shots faced. Hutchinson (7-4-1) took his first shootout loss of the season with 21 saves on 24 shots.
Manchester was 0-for-3 on the power play. St. John’s went 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is on a four-game winning streak…Left wing Steve Quailer scored his first goal in a Monarchs uniform…Left wing Nick Deslauriers recorded his fourth multi-point game of the season…Right wing Tyler Toffoli (5-2=7) and center Linden Vey (1-6=7) each recorded seven points in three games this weekend…Manchester concluded their regular season series with St. John’s with a record of 4-6-0-0.