Penalties plague Monarchs in home loss to IceCaps
After halting a five-game losing streak Saturday night with a 6-4 win over Hershey, the Manchester Monarchs suffered a 4-2 setback against Atlantic Division foe St. John's Sunday afternoon at Verizon Wireless Arena.
Manchester (30-28-3-4) sits in third place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points, while St. John's (27-33-1-4) is fifth with 59 points. Manchester and Norfolk are currently tied for ninth place in the AHL's Eastern Conference standings, trailing Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey by four points for a playoff spot.
On Sunday, the Monarchs and IceCaps entered the third period tied 2-2, but St. John's took a 3-2 lead on an Eric O'Dell power-play goal just 2:20 in to the period.
Playing a man down was an issue for the Monarchs throughout the afternoon. St. John's was 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Monarchs were 0-for-2.
"Penalties influenced a big part in this game," Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. "We still had a chance coming out for the third period. Being in the penalty box so much expended our energy. We couldn't seem to find the back of the net with a lot of our chances in the second period. The opportunities were there. That was the good thing. The bad thing is we didn't convert."
After O'Dell's goal gave St. John's a 3-2 lead early in the third period, the IceCaps made it 4-2 at the 11:31 mark when Ben Maxwell fired a shot off Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones and into the net.
The Monarchs made it 4-3 with 3:36 remaining in the game when Marc-Andre Cliche grabbed the puck off a deflected shot before firing a shot past St. John's goaltender Mark Delkanich (32 saves).
The game was even at 1-1 after one period on goals by St. John's Kael Moulillierat and Manchester's Linden Vey. The teams traded goals again in the second period as Maxwell put the IceCaps in front 2-1 before Brandon Kozun answered for the Monarchs.
Jones (20-22-4) made 29 saves in the loss.
Manchester plays next on Wednesday night at Worcester.