Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…
ST. JOHN’S, NF – Goaltender J.F. Berube recorded his first American Hockey League shutout with 28 saves and right wing Tyler Toffoli collected a natural hat trick as the Manchester Monarchs shutout the St. John’s IceCaps, 6-0, at Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
Manchester (26-11-2-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 58 points. St. John’s (20-16-1-2) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 43 points.
“Tonight was a fun night,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The boys had some puck luck and responded with a solid effort. The team worked hard and kept a good focus. Efforts like this one are ones you wish you could duplicate all season long. It was nice to see so many contributions.”
As the first period was coming to an end, center Jordan Weal put the Monarchs on the board with his ninth tally of the season. Right wing Brian O’Neill carried the puck into the IceCaps zone along the right wing as he cut toward the slot. As he entered the high slot, O’Neill passed the puck over to Weal in the left face-off circle. Weal settled the puck and snapped a wrist shot past IceCaps netminder Eddie Pasquale at 19:03 of the opening frame. Right wing Sean Backman also assisted on the opening goal.
Left wing Andy Andreoff doubled the Monarchs lead at 4:49 of the middle frame with a shorthanded tally. As right wing Scott Sabourin sat in the penalty box for tripping, defenseman Jeff Schultz broke up a pass by the IceCaps and bounced the puck off the left wing boards to forward Hunter Bishop. As he entered St. John’s territory, Bishop dropped the puck back to Andreoff at the left point. Andreoff carried the puck down the left wing and wristed a shot past Pasquale’s right shoulder for his seventh goal of the season.
After taking a puck to the face and returning with multiple stitches above his eye, defenseman Vincent LoVerde scored his second goal of the season at 12:48 of the second period. Center Nick Shore battled with several IceCaps players in the left wing corner. Finally breaking free, Shore carried the puck up to the left wing half-wall before finding LoVerde open in the right face-off circle for a one-timer that beat Pasquale. Left wing Nick Deslauriers earned an assist on goal that brought the game to 3-0.
Toffoli scored his first of three goals on the evening at 3:48 of the third period. Skating on the power play, Andreoff carried the puck into the IceCaps zone along the left wing. He battled with several St. John’s defenders along the half-wall before skating away with the puck. Andreoff carried it down the left wing and around the net before feeding Toffoli in the low slot for a one-timer that went top shelf on Pasquale. Weal assisted on the goal that brought the game to 4-0.
Toffoli’s second goal of the night and ninth tally of the season came at 12:53 of the final frame. Weal dropped the puck back for defenseman Colin Miller who came streaking into the zone. Miller picked up the puck inside the left point and skated in toward Pasquale. Miller fired a point blank shot into the netminder’s pads and Toffoli was on the right doorstep to bang home the rebound.
Toffoli finished off the IceCaps and completed his hat trick with his 10th goal of the season at 17:47 of the third period. Andreoff dug the puck off the left wing boards and gave it to Weal in the left wing face-off circle. Weal flipped the puck over to the right doorstep where Toffoli was positioned to jam the puck past Pasquale.
With 1:47 remaining in the game, Berube started a scrum on the ice in his crease that ended with him injured and down on the ice, and Pasquale ejected from the game for skating down to fight the Monarchs netminder. Berube was checked out by Monarchs Athletic Trainer Michael Muir and was able to finish the game.
Netminder Michael Hutchinson took over the goaltending duty for the IceCaps.
Berube (15-11-2) earned his 15th win of the season stopping all 28 shots he faced in the game. Pasquale (16-13-1) took his 13th loss of the season, stopping 28-of-34 shots. Hutchinson (0-1-0) stopped the one shot he faced in relief duty.
Manchester was 2-for-6 on the power play. St. John’s went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 3-4-0-0 against the IceCaps this season… Goaltender J.F. Berube earned his first AHL shutout with 28 saves… Right wing Tyler Toffoli collected his second natural hat trick and third overall hat trick with the Monarchs… Toffoli is only the second Monarchs player to record three hat tricks with the organization; center Eric Healey collected three hat tricks during the 2002-03 season… Center Jordan Weal registered four points (1-3=4)… Left wing Andy Andreoff recorded three points (1-2=3).
The Monarchs will rematch with the IceCaps on Monday, January 20.
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