AHL: Highlights and notes from Manchester’s late victory on Saturday

Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…

ST. JOHN’S, NF – Right wing Brian O’Neill scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal with 13 seconds remaining in the game to give the Manchester Monarchs a 3-2 win over the St. John’s IceCaps at Mile One Centre on Saturday night.  Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris is one win away from becoming the first coach with 300 professional wins and 300 college wins.  Morris will have his chance at making history when Manchester hosts the Norfolk Admirals in a 10:00 a.m. contest at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday, November 13.

Manchester (9-2-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 21 points.  St. John’s (6-7-1-0) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 13 points.

“Tonight’s effort was much improved,” said Head Coach Mark Morris.  “Everyone showed up and left it all out on the ice.  It was a hectic pace throughout the game.  Our energy and compete level withstood some tough situations, none bigger than being whistled for a call in the last minute and a bit of regulation.  We overcame the odds with a timely shorthanded goal by Brian O’Neill with 14 ticks left on the clock.  Wins like this one are memories people don’t forget.  It was a great way to end the weekend before heading home to Manchester.”

O’Neill broke up the play in the neutral zone and split two IceCaps defensemen to break in on goaltender Eddie Pasquale all alone.  Skating in on goal, O’Neill pulled the puck to his backhand and slipped it over the right pad of the netminder for his third tally of the season at 19:47 of the third period.

The IceCaps struck first with center Patrice Cormier’s first tally of the season at 14:54 of the opening frame.  Skating on the power play, defenseman Ben Chiarot held the puck in the Monarchs zone at the left point and found center Eric O’Dell between the hash marks.  O’Dell tossed the puck toward the net and Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones made the initial save.  Cormier was camped out front and turned to chip the puck over Jones’ pad and into the net for the 1-0 advantage.

Left wing Andy Andreoff tied the game at 1-1 with a power play goal at 17:13 of the first period.  Center Jordan Weal carried the puck into the IceCaps zone along the left wing and sent a pass to right wing Brandon Kozun as he crashed the net.  Pasquale made the initial save and the puck went behind the net.  Kozun tossed the puck out front and it traveled over to the bottom of the right face-off circle for Andreoff’s one-timer.

Forward Hunter Bishop gave the Monarchs a 2-1 lead at 15:09 of the second period.  Center Robbie Czarnik carried the puck into the IceCaps zone at the center point.  Czarnik fed the puck to defenseman Vincent LoVerde at the right point for a slap shot on net.  With many players crashing the net, Bishop was on the doorstep to jam in the rebound.

Left wing Kael Mouillierat evened the game at 2-2 with his third tally of the season at 4:10 of the final period.  Cormier threw the puck on net from the right wing half wall.  Jones made the save and O’Dell fed the rebound over to Mouillierat on the right doorstep.  Mouillierat was able to sneak the puck between Jones and the right post to tie the game.

Jones (9-2-2) earned his ninth win of the season stopping 31 out of 33 shots.  Pasquale (6-6-0) took his sixth loss of the season making 31 saves on 34 shots.

Manchester was 1-for-2 on the power play.  St. John’s went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Manchester split the two games in St. John’s this weekend with a 5-2 loss on Friday and a 3-2 win on Saturday…Forward Hunter Bishop scored his first goal of the season…Right wing Brian O’Neill tallied the first shorthanded goal of the season for the Monarchs.

The Monarchs return to Manchester to host the Norfolk Admirals with a special 10:00 a.m. start time for the fourth annual Education Day game at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday, November 13.

Follow @AndyTonge1 for more Monarchs notes and quotes.

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