In Thursday night’s AHL Eastern Conference Final opener, the host Manchester Monarchs picked up a 3-2 victory on the strength of a pair of goals from rookie Michael Mersch. Following the Kings top minor league affiliate taking a 1-0 series lead, here is what the 2011 draft pick had to share…
On if he enjoyed the long break before the third round or if he was itching to get back:
Well it was a first couple of days it was interesting to see how the other series were playing out. To see them battle a little bit. It was nice to get some rest and recovery. We had a little bit more time to focus on our intensity. I think it was nice to get our legs under us and recover a little bit.
On id he was able to heal up from any injuries:
At the end of our season we had a couple of guys banged up so they were fighting through some injuries and then coming in here it was nice to get some time off and let everybody heal up so it’s been good. I think like I said it’s been good to have that rest.
On if the team is focused on scoring goals early in the first period or if it is just happening:
We haven’t talked about it much and everybody has been doing their job and staying focused before the game and that’s sort of been our M.O. all year.
On if his two goals in front of the net were derived from something he has been working on or if they are just coming from his drive:
It’s just usually where I score my goals so all around that paint area. We have a lot of good guys on this team, the way I play it is around the net but we have a lot of guys on the outside who make those skilled plays and I just screen the goalie to hope to get a whack on the puck.
On Jordan Weal, Brian O’Neal and Mersch combining for 23 goals in the playoffs.
They are unbelievable players, I look at the stat sheets every night during the season and they’re on it. But at the same time they work real hard out there and they come back into their own zone and get pucks out, and do the little stuff so that’s why we win series because we got our skill guys working back in our zone taking care of their own end now they’re getting rewards on the offensive side as well.
On what was going through his mind when scoring his second goal, from his knees:
I was just kind of scrambling that entire shift, the puck was in front originally and we were just scrambling and we got a few whacks at it and their goalie made some good saves and it just popped out to our point. I was talking to Kevin Gravel who shot it on net and he said “I knew if I could just get it to you, one of you guys would put it in.”
On his mentality before breaking the tie, as well as after:
It was a great play all around, he beat the guy one on one which was an exceptional play and then he was able to shoot the puck and we’ve been emphasizing shooting the puck and that’s what [Stothers] likes. When you shoot it, it goes in and you’re going to make coach happy.
More postgame quotes are linked below.
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