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January 16. 2014 11:06PM

Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs' net belongs to Berube


Bridgeports's Robin Figren sends a shot towards Monarchs goalie J.F. Berube in a game. (David Lane/UNION LEADER)

The Manchester Monarchs’ net belongs to rookie J.F. Berube once again.

With the Los Angeles Kings’ trade of goaltender Ben Scrivens Wednesday and the call-up of Martin Jones, Berube will take over once again as the Monarchs head north to play three games at St. John’s tonight (6 p.m.), Saturday and Monday.

Jones’ return to Manchester was short-lived as he played in (and won) two games after an 8-3-0 start (with three shutouts) to his NHL career. But those numbers meant Scrivens was no longer needed as Jonathan Quick’s backup.

“He deserves to be in the NHL right now and he proved that to the organization,” Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said of Jones. “His stellar play here with us led to the opportunity in the NHL. We’re real happy for him and I think it’s a good bet he’s there to stay.”

Berube started a franchise-record 24 consecutive games while Jones was in L.A., collecting a record of 14-10-2 and keeping Manchester atop the Atlantic Division standings.

“He shouldered a lot of responsibility and passed those tests with flying colors,” Morris said. “If he can get some help and get spelled from time to time, he’ll stay fresh.”

Another rookie, Mathias Neiderberger, was called up from Ontario of the ECHL to join the team in St. John’s. Neiderberger has played in just under 36 minutes of AHL ice time. Morris said he didn’t know what the Kings might do as far as transactions, but said he expected they could need to make some sort of move because if Quick (who was injured for almost two months) or Jones got hurt, they would want an NHL-ready goalie on call. That could lead to a veteran journeyman being brought in to Manchester as a safety net.

Manchester got some good news in getting Tyler Toffoli back from L.A., but Linden Vey is headed back west from Manchester so roster shuffles continue.

It should be an interesting road trip to St. John’s. The Monarchs (25-10-6, 56 points) have won three out of five meetings this season against the IceCaps (19-15-3, 41).“It’s a great venue to play in and we got a taste of just how well they can play,” said Morris, who might be a late arrival to the weekend series due to illness. “We’ve had success there, but we’ll have to play well. This is going to be a big test for us.”

Following the road trip, Manchester will host Worcester next Friday at 7 p.m.


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