MANCHESTER, NH – Center Linden Vey scored the lone goal as the Manchester Monarchs fell to the St. John’s IceCaps, 3-1, at Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (29-13-2-5) leads the Atlantic Division with 65 points. St. John’s (26-16-1-2) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 55 points.
“We weren’t ready at the start of the game and we paid for it” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I liked our pushback from the midpoint on. We started to stop their cycle. We started playing physical and we need to do that from the get go. When you skate, have a forecheck, and you play with a lot of compete right from the get go, you have a better outcome. But we sat back and allowed them to take the game to us.”
The IceCaps struck early when center Adam Lowry scored a wraparound goal at 3:37 of the first period. Lowry skated down the left wing boards and around the net, flipping the puck over the shoulder of Monarchs netminder J.F. Berube. Lowry’s goal was also assisted by right wing J.C. Lipon and defenseman Paul Postma.
St. John’s doubled their lead with a goal by center Kyle MacKinnon at 16:15 of the opening frame. Postma skated up through the neutral zone and passed the puck to right wing Jerome Samson who skated up the left wing. Samson then found MacKinnon at the front of the net, who put it past Berube.
St. John’s then scored their third and final goal of the game just 44 seconds into the second period. Samson took the puck to the point where he passed it to Postma in the right face-off circle. Postma then found left wing Jason Jaffray who put it away on the power play.
Vey gave the Monarchs their first and only goal of the game at 1:27 of the third period. Left wing Nick Deslauriers intercepted an IceCaps pass and then fired a shot on net. Vey recovered the rebound and found the back of the net beating St. John’s netminder Michael Hutchinson.
Berube (18-13-2) took his 13th loss of the season stopping 18-of-21 shots. Hutchinson (6-1-0) earned his sixth win of the season, stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced in the game.
Manchester was 0-for-3 on the power play. St. John’s went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs currently lead the AHL with 65 points…Saturday’s loss is the first time that the Monarchs have lost at home in 2014…St. John’s is the only team in the Atlantic Division that Manchester holds a losing record, 3-6-0-0, against this season…Left wing Nick Deslauriers (0-4=4) is on a four-game point streak…Center Linden Vey has registered three goals and two assists for five points in his last four games.