IceCaps outlasted by Monarchs
St. John’s can’t overcome early deficit in 3-2 loss
ST. JOHN’S, NL – Martin Jones made 32 saves to snap his personal nine-game losing streak as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 3-2 Friday night at Mile One Centre.
Jones made a plethora of huge saves while Tyler Toffoli scored twice in the game’s opening five minutes to pace the Monarchs. Linden Vey notched a pair of assists while Andrei Loktionov also scored for Manchester.
Spencer Machacek and Ray Sawada scored for St. John’s, which fell to 15-19-0-1 overall and just 6-10-0-1 in 17 home contests. Eddie Pasquale made 26 saves between the pipes for the IceCaps in a losing cause.
Manchester came out flying and opened the scoring just 2:01 into the first period. After some good cycling down low, Vey sent a pass out to Toffoli at the top of the right faceoff circle and the former OHL standout with the Ottawa 67’s wasted no time one-timing a rocket into the back of the net to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, after Ryan Schnell stepped back on the ice following an unsportsmanlike conduct minor, Toffoli notched his second of the period on another setup by Vey. Vey circled the IceCaps net and slipped a pass to Toffoli, who once again got the puck off his stick quickly, sliding a shot underneath Pasquale to make it 2-0 less than five minutes into the game.
The IceCaps got on the board at the 16 minute mark of the first on Machacek’s eighth of the season. St. John’s worked the puck around in the Monarchs’ zone before Ben Chiarot fired the puck on goal from the top of the left faceoff circle. Machacek was right there in front to go skate-to-stick and lift a shot over Jones’ left shoulder to cut the lead to 2-1.
After a scoreless second period, Manchester got a necessary insurance marker midway through the third. The hard-checking Monarchs forced an IceCaps turnover behind the net and Dwight King made a nice one-handed effort to get the puck in front to a wide open Loktionov, who converted to make it 3-1 with 10:39 to play.
St. John’s made it interesting with a late goal after Pasquale was pulled for the extra attacker. Captain Jason Jaffray was robbed by Jones after some good pressure by the IceCaps but Sawada banged home his eighth with 1:38 left to give the Mile One faithful some hope.
However, it was too little, too late for St. John’s, which dropped its second straight game and fourth in the last five.
The IceCaps went 0-for-5 on the power play while killing off all three Manchester man advantages.
Catch all the action in Saturday night’s rematch with IceCaps broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. with the pregame show beginning at 7:00 (all times Newfoundland).
F Spencer Machacek took over the team scoring lead (18 points) with his first period goal. Just prior to Friday’s game, Machacek was given credit for an assist in last Saturday’s win at Syracuse, which put him into a tie for the most points with D Paul Postma, D Derek Meech, and F Jason Jaffray… Both the IceCaps and Monarchs dressed an “O’Neill” wearing the number 23 (Will O’Neill for St. John’s and Brian O’Neill for Manchester)… F Max Macenauer celebrated his 24th birthday Friday… Machacek and F Ray Sawada’s goals moved both into a tie with D Zach Redmond for the team lead with eight…. The IceCaps fell to 4-4 in Friday games this season… Mile One Centre was sold out for the 55th consecutive time, passing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second-longest sellout streak in the history of the AHL.
Photos (Jeff Parsons)