ST. JOHN'S, NF - The Manchester Monarchs could not solve goaltender Eddie Pasquale as they fell to the St. John's IceCaps, 4-1, at Mile One Center on Friday night.
Manchester (25-11-2-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 56 points. St. John's (20-15-1-2) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 43 points.
"Obviously, a tough loss," said Monarchs Assistant Coach Freddy Meyer. "But we had plenty of opportunities to score and were unable to beat (Eddie) Pasquale. I liked our effort down the stretch, and we need to carry that same energy and focus into tomorrow night."
Center John Albert tallied a shorthanded goal at 7:56 of the second period to give the IceCaps a 2-0 advantage. Center Kyle MacKinnon picked up the puck in the Monarchs zone and broke out with Albert through the neutral zone. MacKinnon passed the puck to Albert along the left wing. Albert skated around the Monarchs defenseman and cut in on Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube. Albert slipped the puck five-hole on the netminder for his fifth goal of the season.
Left wing Jason Jaffray scored just 52-seconds into the game to give the IceCaps a 1-0 lead. Right wing Andrew Gordon skated through neutral territory and passed the puck over to Jaffray along the right wing as they crossed the blueline. Jaffray carried the puck into the right wing face-off circle and wristed a shot past Berube. Defenseman Will O'Neill assisted on Jaffray's 10th goal of the season.
The IceCaps scored a power play goal at 11:20 of the second period to take a 3-0 lead. Right wing J.C. Lipon passed the puck from the center point in the Monarchs zone to right wing Jerome Samson in the bottom of the left face-off circle. Samson walked in on Berube and jammed the puck into the goaltender's pads. After Berube made the initial save, Samson swiped at the puck multiple times before finding the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season. O'Neill picked up his second assist of the game.
Left wing Nick Deslauriers put the Monarchs on the scoreboard with his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Defenseman Jeff Schultz snapped a shot from the left point. The puck deflected off of center Jordan Weal in the slot and over to Deslauriers in the right face-off circle. Deslauriers wristed a shot past IceCaps netminder Eddie Pasquale at 14:17 of the middle frame.
Samson scored an empty net goal, his second tally of the game, at 19:46 of the final period.
Berube (14-11-2) took his 11th loss of the season making 27 saves on 30 shots. Pasquale (16-12-1) earned his 16th win of the season, stopping 36-of-37 shots.
Manchester was 0-for-5 on the power play. St. John's went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 2-4-0-0 against the IceCaps this season...Head Coach Mark Morris will fly out to join the team in St. John's tomorrow as he has been recovering from the flu the last two days...Center Jordan Weal leads Manchester against St. John's with six points, all assists, in six games this season...Defenseman Nick Deslauriers leads the Monarchs with four goals against the IceCaps, including his team-leading 14th tally of the season tonight.
The Monarchs will rematch with the IceCaps at 6:00 p.m. at Mile One Centre on Saturday, January 18. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on Monarchs Radio Network WGIR AM 610, WGIRAM.com, and at manchestermonarchs.com presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
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