Manchester (17-11-0-2) and St. John’s (16-7-4-0) are tied for first place the Atlantic Division with 36 points each.
“The effort was there,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We had plenty of chances to score goals. There was a penalty shot and we rung one off the post with (Patrick) Mullen coming out of the box. We had enough opportunities to win the hockey game. It was there to win and we didn’t take advantage of it.”
At 10:58 of the middle frame, the IceCaps skated on a power play. St. John’s pushed the lead to 3-2 on the eventual game-winning goal from center Patrice Cormier. Right wing Spencer Machacek got the puck out from behind the net and passed it up to the right point to defenseman Paul Postma who released a wrist shot. Cormier redirected the shot in front of Jones for his second goal of the game and seventh tally of the season.
St. John’s opened up the scoring on the power play at 5:39 of the first period when the IceCaps were the beneficiary of an awkward bounce. Monarchs netminder Martin Jones
made the initial save on Cormier’s bad angle shot from the bottom of the right wing face-off circle. Jones poked the rebound away from the crease but it bounced off the shin guard of Monarchs defensemen Thomas Hickey
, finding its way to the back of the net for Cormier’s sixth goal of the season.
The Monarchs tied the score at 1-1 off the stick of center Marc-Andre Cliche
. Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun
won a loose puck battle along the left wing boards in the neutral zone and made the quick pass to Cliche streaking down the right slot. Cliche broke free for a break away and wristed a shot high on the stick side of goaltender David Aebischer scoring his team-leading ninth goal of the year at 10:53 of the middle stanza.
The Monarchs opened the scoring in the second period when right wing Stefan Legein redirected a shot by left wing Ray Kaunisto
. The left wing corralled the puck off the boards in the right corner and fired a no-look, ice-level shot from the bottom of the right wing face-off circle. Legein tipped the puck on the doorstep, slipping it five- hole. The right wing’s third goal of the season came at 4:37 into the second period and was also assisted by defenseman Patrick Mullen
The IceCaps tied the game at 2-2 when left wing Kendal McArdle tallied his third goal of the season. The Monarchs failed to clear the puck when right wing Jason King kept it in at the left point. King found McArdle free at the left face-off circle where he faked a wrist shot and cut across the net, flipping a backhand past Jones. McArdle’s third goal of the season came at 6:54 of the second period.
The IceCaps put away the Monarchs in the final seconds of the game on a breakaway empty net goal at 19:58 of the third period. Machacek was able to pick up a loose puck and tip it to right wing Tom Maxwell who broke free down the middle of ice before putting the biscuit in the empty net for his first goal of the season.
Jones (9-8-1) took his eighth loss of the season stopping 25-of-28 shots. Aebischer (6-3-0) earned his sixth victory of the season making 26 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. St. John’s was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
The Monarchs had their home winning-streak snapped at eight games, dating back to November 11…The Monarchs are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games overall…The Monarchs are 0-2-0-0 against the IceCaps this season…Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche
tallied his team leading ninth goal of the season…Defenseman Patrick Mullen
’s three-game goal-streak came to an end…Mullen has a five-game point-streak (3-3=6) with an assist on right wing Stefan Legein’s second period goal…Right wing Brandon Kozun
has recorded a point in nine of his last 10 games (3-6=9).