St. John’s displays consistency, character in heartbreaking split with Monarchs
The St. John’s IceCaps learned a lesson about taking the good with the bad following a split with the Manchester Monarchs in a two-game American Hockey League set this past weekend at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
© — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
The St. John’s IceCaps’ Brenden Kichton is dogged by the Manchester Monarchs’ Hunter Bishop as he picks up the puck deep in the IceCaps’ zone in front of netminder Eddie Pasquale during the teams’ game Saturday night at Mile One Centre. The Monarchs stole a 3-2 win with a shorthanded goal with 14 seconds to play in regulation.
From the ashes of Saturday night’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss with 14-seconds remaining in regulation time — to a short-handed goal, no less — there are positives to draw on.
“We’re not going to take a step back from an unfortunate bounce at the end of a game,” coach Keith McCambridge said following Saturday’s defeat, which was preceeded by a convincing 5-2 victory over Manchester Friday.
“We’re making sure the consistency is there night in and night out, and I felt it was there tonight. There was no drop off in our game at all.
“I thought we played a good enough game to get ourselves at least a point at the minimum. We deserved a better fate.”
Along with the traction he feels his team is gaining, McCambridge and his staff are also encouraged by the progress of the Kyle Mouillierat, Eric O’Dell and Patrice Cormier line. The trio scored four of the IceCaps’ seven goals on the weekend, with Mouillierat finishing with three points and O’Dell recording five.
McCambridge says the line has come alive with the addition of Cormier to the right wing, filling in for the injured Josh Lunden.
“I’ve been trying to find the right chemistry, the right mix that will make the line go again and Patrice has been the piece of the puzzle to help that line,” McCambridge says.
Cormier scored his first of the season in Saturday’s loss, adding an assist on Mouillierat’s game-tying third-period goal. Both came on the power play.
“Those guys are pretty special players, I just try to get them the puck,” Cormier said of his linemates, adding that it was “good to contribute, and help the team in a different way than hitting or fighting. It's nice to get few points on the board.”
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Cormier acknowledged another two-game split, the team’s third on home ice and fifth this year, is frustrating, but insists things are headed in the right direction.
“We want to win, we play the right way and do the right things, so I think things are going to start turning around.”
Also scoring for the Monarchs (9-2-1-2) were Hunter Bishop and Andy Andreoff. Martin Jones turned aside 31 of 33 shots against, 25 over the first two frames, for his league-leading ninth win of the season.
Eddie Pasquale was solid in net for the IceCaps, making 31 saves.
The IceCaps’ (6-7-1-0) homestand continues midweek when they play the first of three games against the Worcester Sharks Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The teams tangle again Friday and Saturday night at 7:30.