Kings of the Atlantic Monarchs clinch division title with win

MANCHESTER, NH – Center Linden Vey scored two goals to help the Manchester Monarchs shutout the Portland Pirates, 4-0, clinching their third Atlantic Division title in the team’s 13 year history at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.

Manchester (47-19-2-6) leads the Atlantic Division with 102 points. Portland (24-38-3-8) is ranked fifth in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.Monarchs logo

“It sure was (a physical game) and I don’t like those games, “said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “There’s no room in the game for some of the stuff that went on. Coaches don’t forget that and players don’t forget that either. Something good came out of it anyway, but I’m really upset about how the whole thing transpired. The players will self-police and they did, and that stuff was unnecessary. When you see somebody spear somebody and there was nothing that happens, then players are going to take it into their own hands and that’s exactly what ended up happening. When a team is down and out, and they are out of (the game) and they start playing that way, I don’t think memories are going to forget that stuff.”

Vey got the scoring started at 7:22 of the first period. On a 5-on-3 power play, defenseman Vincent LoVerde received a pass from defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk before cycling the puck to Vey from the left face-off circle. Vey bore down and wristed a shot toward the net from the top of the slot. The shot was deflected up into the air and landed behind goaltender Louis Domingue, who was standing and trying to locate the puck. The goal gave Manchester the early 1-0 advantage and was Vey’s 13th tally of the season.

Vey doubled Manchester’s lead with his second power play goal of the night and 14th tally of the season at 9:11 of the second period. LoVerde passed the puck from the top of the slot to Bodnarchuk in the left face-off circle, who immediately redirected the puck across the ice to Vey. Vey collected the pass and shot a one-timer into a wide open right side of the net before Domingue had a chance to raise his glove.

The Monarchs added another tally to their lead when center Jordan Weal collected his 23rd goal of the season. Leading the charge into the Pirates zone along the right wall, Weal dropped a pass behind for right wing Brian O’Neill, who then passed the puck along to LoVerde from the high slot. LoVerde sent a quick pass back across the ice to a streaking Weal, who fired a one-timer above Domingue’s glove and into the top right corner of the net. The score increased the Monarchs lead to 3-0 at 16:41 in the second period.

Defenseman Brayden McNabb registered his 10th goal of the season to give the Monarchs a four-goal lead at 13:34 in the third period. Right wing Zach O’Brien carried the puck into the top of the zone and dished a pass over to forward Nick Shore in the left face-off circle. Shore maintained possession for a moment before sending the puck back toward the high slot, where McNabb received the pass. The defenseman wristed a shot through traffic and past Domingue to give the Monarchs a 4-0 lead and their third power play goal of the night.

Moanrchs goaltender J.F. Berube (27-16-2) earned his 27th win and third shutout of the season, stopping 23-of-23 shots. Domingue (9-17-2) took his 17th loss of the season, making 35 saves on 39 shots he faced in the game.

Manchester was 3-for-7 on the power play. Portland went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables: The Monarchs finished their season series with the Pirates with a record of 9-3-0-0…The two teams combined for a Monarchs season-high 135 penalty minutes…Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube registered his third shutout of the season…Manchester clinched their third Atlantic Division title in their 13-year history…Manchester can clinch their second Eastern Conference title in team history with a win on Sunday against the Providence Bruins.

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