Manchester Monarchs vs. Alaska Aces 2/25/17March 1, 2017
The first place Manchester Monarchs beat the fourth place Alaska Aces 5-4 Saturday night in overtime after a back and forth game. The Monarchs are the Los Angeles Kings ECHL farm team and the Aces are the Vancouver Canucks ECHL farm team. The Aces leading scorer with 32 goals was Peter Sivak who was a healthy scratch on Saturday while the Monarchs leading scorer was Joey Diamond who has 18 goals on the year. The assists leaders for each team is the Aces with Stephen Perfetto with 36 who was also a healthy scratch and Matt Leitner with 37 for the Monarchs, he had 3 assists against the Aces on Saturday. The starting Goalies were Michael Garteig for the Aces who is 11-6-0 with a 3.01 GAA and a .908 SV% coming into the game. Sam Brittain started between the pipes for the Monarchs, who played for Denver University. He came into this game with a 19-7-4 record and a 3.20 GAA and a. 897 SV%.
The Monarchs won the opening faceoff to get possession in the beginning of the game. The puck was going up and down the ice, possession was changing until the Aces were called for a penalty for interference on Mitch Jones at 14:19. Exactly one minute later, the Monarchs got a penalty for hooking from Eric Robinson. As 4-on-4 play went on, the Monarchs scored a goal at 13:22 to take a 1-0 lead. Zach Lynch scored the opening goal, which was assisted by Matt Leitner. Monarchs and Aces would take another set of penalties for roughing at 6:10 left to go from Aces Coffman and Monarchs Elbrecht. The 1st winded down as the score remained 1-0 Manchester. Schots were 13-12 at the end of the first in favor of Manchester.
The Monarchs won the opening faceoff and scored a nifty deflection goal 38 seconds into the period making it 2-0. Rome took a shot from the right point and Tim Bozon deflected it in the slot to get it behind Garteig. Minutes later the Aces had a chance to tie the game up but Sam Brittain made a spread eagle save to deny the Aces attempt. It was the save of the game. The massive save did not discourage the Aces, they got one back two minutes later from Lake assisted by Sampair and Ruegsegger. With the game remaining close, the Aces got a penalty with 1:37 left in the period on Ryan Trenz for kneeing. Almost a full minute into the powerplay, Thomas Schemithsch netted his first goal of the season assisted by Leitner and Doherty. The period winded down and the monarch led 3-1 and had the shots in their favor 30-26.
The Aces won the opening faceoff as they came out fired up ready to start playing. A little under 3 minutes into the game, Mitch Jones laid a dirty hit onto the head of a Monarch’s player and all hell broke loose. Jones received a 4 minute double minor for roughing. Tyler Ruegsegger of the Aces and Ashton Rome of the Aces dropped the mitts went at it. Both players landed some good blows, but Rome had the better of the battle. There was a short delay due to the ice crew having to come out and clean the ice due to blood from the Aces fighter. Tony Turgeon of the Monarchs also received a double minor for roughing. Just minutes later, Zach Lynch of Manchester received a penalty for slashing, which was a soft call. The results of the penalties gave a new life to the Aces as Coffman scored a powerplay goal assisted by Moynihan and Shattock. Five minutes later, Coffman scores again to tie the game up. The game at this point was all Alaska. The momentum shifted completely until Wade Murphy of the Manchester scored his first goal for the Monarchs with 9:18 left. At this point we thought the game was over, and that was the dagger in the chest. Nope, the Aces scored with 2:45 left from Tyler Shattock. The game was tied 4-4 when the horn sounded the shots were even at 45 a piece.
Three on three. Winner take all. The Monarchs won the draw again and moved the puck up ice, 29 seconds in, Matt Leitner, scored to win the game from a nice pass from Joe Diamond. The game was over and the Monarchs win. A game they should’ve won in regulation, but they got the 2 points regardless. All it took was one shot to win the game in OT, with the shots 46-45 Manchester.
Three Stars of the Game
3rd Tim Coffman, Alaska Aces- 2 goals
2nd Wade Murphy, Manchester Monarchs 1 goal (first goal of his career)
1st Matt Leitner, Manchester Monarchs 1 game winning goal and 3 assists
The ECHL is no joke, the intensity is still there and the games are fast paced and exciting to watch. These players are still trying to make it to the top and are working hard to prove they belong. The Monarchs would go on to lose the next game they played vs the Aces 7-2. I would expect some of these players to move up the the Ontario Reign (AHL team of the Kings) within the next couple of seasons.
Written by Chase Barnhart