AHL: Monarchs shut out in St. John’s

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

ST. JOHN’S, NF – The Manchester Monarchs dropped their second of three consecutive games against the St. John’s IceCaps as they were shutout by a score of 2-0 at Mile One Centre on Monday night.

Manchester (26-12-2-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 58 points.  St. John’s (21-16-1-2) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 45 points.

“We probably deserved a better fate tonight,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.  “There were so many glorious chances we had throughout the game, but we couldn’t find the back of the net.  (Michael) Hutchinson was pretty good for the IceCaps.  He was down and out a handful of times.  We couldn’t find the handle to finish on him.  Our execution was off just enough to spoil the effort we put forth.  A costly first turnover in the first squelched a solid energetic effort to start to the game.  Looking back, it ultimately sealed the deal.  We were unable to recover on the score sheets.  We outplayed St. John’s most of the game.  The effort was excellent, the outcome not so much.”

Right wing Blair Riley scored the opening goal for the IceCaps.  After recovering a missed shot from center John Albert behind the net, Riley circled around the left face-off circle.  Taking the puck into the slot, Riley wristed a shot past Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube and into the top left corner of the net for the score.  The goal was Riley’s second tally of the season and gave the IceCaps a 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the first period.

The IceCaps extended their lead to two goals when right wing Andrew Gordon scored his 14th tally of the season in the third period.  On the power play, defenseman Will O’Neill fired a slap shot toward the net from the top of the slot.  After an initial save by Berube, Gordon collected the rebound near the inside corner of the left face-off circle.  Gordon was able to fling the puck into the goal before Berube could reposition himself, making it a 2-0 game.  Left wing Jason Jaffray assisted on the goal that came at 13:06 of the third period.

Berube (15-12-2) earned his 12th loss of the season stopping 25-of-27 shots.  IceCaps netminder Michael Hutchinson (1-1-0) earned the shutout and collected his first win of the season, stopping all 26 shots he faced in the game.

Manchester was 0-for-2 on the power play.  St. John’s went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

Notables:  The Monarchs are 3-5-0-0 against the IceCaps this season…The Monarchs are 0-1-0 in their lone Monday game of the season…Manchester was shutout for the first time this season…The last time the Monarchs were shutout was March 16, 2013 in a 3-0 loss to the Connecticut Whale.

The Monarchs will take on the Worcester Sharks at 7:00 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday, January 24.

Follow @AndyTonge1 for more Monarchs news and notes.

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