Monarchs Notebook: Leitner a force in Monarchs' run
By JOHN HABIB New Hampshire Union Leader
Monarchs' Zac Lynch attacks Brampton's goalie Zachary Fucale during game five of the Kelly Cup playoffs at SNHU Arena in Manchester on Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)
MANCHESTER — When it comes to offense, forward Matt Leitner has been reliable for the Manchester Monarchs the last two seasons.
“The last two years we’ve had him, he’s been roughly a point-a-game player,” said Manchester coach Richard Seeley. “That’s a pretty good ratio, getting a point in nearly every game.”
During the regular season, Leitner led the Monarchs in scoring with 14 goals and 39 assists for 53 points in 51 games played. Last season, in 51 games, Leitner racked up 49 points behind 12 goals and 37 assists.
In 10 playoff games this season before Wednesday’s Game 5, Leitner registered a team-high 12 points with five goals and seven assists.
“He has played in the playoffs pretty much like he did in the regular season,” said Seeley. “There’s no question he’s a good player who has been a leader for us.”
The second leading scorer for the Monarchs heading into Game 5 was forward Quentin Shore, who has proven to be a versatile player.
“Quentin has been good on face-offs, penalty kill, power play, you name it,” said Seeley.
Shore had 11 points after 10 playoff games for Manchester with four goals and seven assists.
“He plays all types of roles in different scenerios which makes him valuable,” said Seeley.
While Manchester out-scored Brampton 13-2 in its three straight playoff wins, Seeley called the Beast “a good hockey club. They’ve got good goaltending, solid defense and are very skilled up front with opportunistic forwards. As we found out in Game 1, they can make you pay when you make mistakes.”
Jordan Henry entered Wednesday leading the Beast with three goals and five assists, followed by Luke Pither (goal, five assists) and Brandon MacLean with four goals and one assist.
Sam Brittain (7-2-1) entered Game 5 ranked second among goalies in the post-season with a 1.90 goals-against average. He is fourth in save percentage (.934) and leads all playoff netminders with seven wins.
Manchester owns the best penalty-killing unit in the playoffs at 93.2-percent, killing off 41-of-44 attempts including 17-for-18 against the Beast through four games.
If the series is continued after Wednesday, Brampton will host Game 6 Friday and Game 7 on Sunday.