LA Kings prospect Michael Mersch scored a hat trick in the Monarchs 7-4 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Mersch now has five goals in the first two games of the series, and leads the AHL in rookie scoring this postseason with 18 points. After the Game 2 victory, here is what he had to share…
On scoring a hat trick
First off we played a good team game. They were able to come back in the second period and score some goals on us, but we responded well at the end and kept pushing forward in the third period. As for the hat trick, it was great. My linemates got me the puck, as you can see. When they’re putting pucks on the nets, good things are going to happen.
On Hartford making a comeback in the second period
I think we’ve just been pushing all year. Our self-confidence is not too high, not too low, it’s perfect. We know we’re able to score goals and come back in those types of situations, whether it be a defenseman putting a puck on net and scoring or everybody contributes, or everybody on this team contributes, which is special.
On the go-ahead goal regaining momentum
They had a lot of life when they tied it or took the lead. They had a lot of life on their bench. You could tell just by the way they were acting. Once we got that lead, it was kind of quiet on their end. Anyways, we had a good push-back there and that was the key to the game.
Do you feel like those last two goals in the final minute of the second period changed things?
Yeah, absolutely. Shoresy made a good play to O’Nee. When you beat a guy one-on-one on our forecheck and make a good play, that’s something special. Those two guys are great players – everybody on our team is great players. That’s why we’re winning games.
Mindset now heading on the road
It’s great to get the first two wins, we’re enjoying it now, but come tomorrow we’re going to be able to regroup and come back to the rink and look forward to those next games in Hartford.
On scoring from outside of the crease
Yeah, me and Gravel were talking about it. He was just kind of going over my goals this year and we counted maybe three shooting goals this year. That’s what we could think of. So, guys were giving me some grief about that. It was funny.
Postgame comments from coach Mike Stothers were posted here.