Monarchs continue playoff push
The Manchester Monarchs have just one game this weekend and only five remaining in the regular season.
Manchester plays at Connecticut tonight at 7 p.m. The Monarchs are 36-31-4 for 76 points and eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
While Manchester is trying to hang onto the final playoff spot — or move up, the Whale (34-24-12, 80) enter tonight's game hoping to hold onto sixth place.
“They have an excellent power play and lots of firepower,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “They move the puck well and are poised. It's important to stay disciplined.”
The Monarchs have been off since a 3-2 overtime loss at Bridgeport Sunday.
Manchester was able to take three out of four points last weekend and strong goaltending played a major role.
Martin Jones earned his first shutout of the season in a 4-0 win at Worcester Saturday. Jeff Zatkoff started in Sunday's game and was also sharp. “We continue to utilize both guys and both have had moments of brilliance over the last stretch,” Morris said. “We're seeking consistency. Goaltending can make or break you at this time of the year.”
The Monarchs got some help from St. John's with an IceCaps win over Portland Tuesday, but the Pirates rebounded Wednesday for a 5-1 win that moved them to 33-30-9 for 75 points. But Portland has played one more game than Manchester, so the Monarchs are in control of their own playoff fate and winning out would guarantee Manchester a playoff berth.
The Monarchs will close the regular season with a flurry of games, playing at Worcester Tuesday, at Connecticut Friday and then coming back to the Verizon Wireless Arena for 3 p.m. games Saturday (Hershey) and Sunday (St. John's).
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