With their 3-1 win on Saturday night the Manchester Monarchs have secured a spot in the 2013 AHL playoffs. And after the game, Kings’ prospect Brandon Kozun probably had the best reaction on twitter…
Playoffs, you’re talking about playoffs #werein
— brandon kozun (@kozy15) April 21, 2013
Now on to the game…
Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…
WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Manchester Monarchs secured the seventh seed in Eastern Conference in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the Wikes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.
Manchester (37-31-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 81 points. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (42-30-2-2) is in third place in the East Division with 88 points.
“The cards seem to have fallen in our favor to become a playoff bound team, ” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “That coupled with another gutsy effort brought out lots of smiles around the locker room. These guys deserve a ton of credit for this run coming down the stretch. It’s heartwarming to see the team get rewarded. The odds didn’t look very favorable at certain points during the season but we have kept a good focus and haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves. One step at a time is usually the best approach when you are faced with a daunting task.”
Center Andy Andreoff gave the Monarchs the lead for good with a power play goal at 9:53 of the third period. Defenseman David Kolomatis gained the Penguins zone on the right wing and fed a pass to left wing Tanner Pearson on the left wing half wall. Pearson skated down the boards before playing the puck back to Andreoff in the slot. Andreoff wristed a shot under the left arm pit of Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen for his 13th goal of the season.
Kolomatis opened a scoreless game in the third period with a goal coming just 31 seconds into the third period. Right wing Tyler Toffoli gained the Penguins zone on the left wing. Toffoli pulled up at the left point before he passed the puck to Kolomatis at the top of the right wing face-off circle. Kolomatis corralled the pass on his stick and wristed a shot midway up on the stick side of Thiessen for his eighth goal of the season.
Right wing Paul Thompson scored on the power play at 18:41 of the third period to bring the Penguins within a goal at 2-1. Defenseman Dylan Reese carried the puck to the bottom of the left wing face-off circle in the Monarchs zone before wristing a shot on Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones. The shot produced a rebound in front of the net where both center Chad Kolarik and center Trevor Smith took a jab at it but the puck trickled out to Thompson on the right doorstep and he buried it into the back of the net for his 20th goal of the season.
Pearson finished the scoring with an empty net goal at 19:45 of the third period. Pearson poked a puck free as the Penguins attempted entry into the Monarchs zone on the right wing. Pearson flung a looping shot from just outside the Monarchs zone that went into the empty net for his 17th goal of the season.
Jones (27-25-4) earned his 27th victory of the season making 36 saves on 37 shots. Thiessen (16-12-2) took his 12th loss of the season denying 17-of-19 shots faced.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester extended their winning streak to six straight games, the longest this season…The Monarchs clinched a playoff berth for the 11th time in 12 season as a franchise…Monarchs center Linden Vey had his four-game point streak (2-4=6) snapped…Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis tallied a goal and an assist in the game.
The Monarchs will conclude the regular season with a game in Hershey later this afternoon.
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