The Manchester Monarchs scored a lot and they often. Kind of. The goals came in bunches for the Los Angeles Kings' top farm team.
Nick Shore picked up three assists on the second night of the Monarchs' opening homestand against the Portland Pirates (Arizona Coyotes) while Jordan Weal earned first star of the game again.
Sheng Peng watched the game and was kind enough to again share his thoughts with me:
- Derek Forbort may surprise with his skating. If his ceiling is prime Rob Sucderi/Robyn Regehr who can skate, that's very, very useful. However, considering he's never scored above 20 points at NCAA/AHL level, we can probably give up on his offense... though MCH does give him PP time.
- POR starter Mike McKenna has given up 6 goals on 17 shots in 2 games. Safe to assume Louis Domingue is drawing Game 3 start.
- Adrian Kempe has above average NHL speed.
- Chippy, hostile affair.
- Crescenzi chucked after he headhunted Darian Dziurzynski with a dirty, completely unnecessary hit.
- Michael Mersch has 13 goals in his last 17 games (though his last one was an ENG).
- Mersch is a guy to watch--prototypical crash-and-bang Kings winger with perhaps better hands than usual. A high ceiling projection would be either Dustin Brown or Justin Williams (which seems very optimistic), but it's probably safer to assume that he'd be more of a bottom six winger skating alongside a guy like Nick Shore and goes to the net to get the rebound. I'm thinking Dwight King with better finish.
- In the third period (while the score was still 2-1), Domingue gave up 3 goals in 39 secs. POR may host open tryouts for their Game 3 starter.
Manchester Monarchs 15 Playoffs Individual Stats
|14||David Van der Gulik||LW||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0.0|
Mike McKenna was yanked 30 seconds into the game after giving up two goals on three shots, probably the worst since Ken Wregget in 1986.
So McKenna is just over 2x as good as Ken Wreggett. https://t.co/DFj4miuhnL— Andy Tonge (@AndyTonge1) April 25, 2015
Louis Domingue gave up three goals in 39 seconds while the game was still within reach for Portland. It was a pretty awful night in net for the Pirates.
Portland's first goal came with 14 seconds left in the first period. That's a pretty tough goal to give up when you start off so well.
Michael Mersch got the party started 20 seconds into the game and 10 seconds later, Jordan Weal doubled the score.
Sean Backman ended up with the game winner after he got the second round of quick scoring started. Brian O'Neill added his third tally in two days followed by Nic Dowd, who got a breakaway and slid it 5-hole. Domingue didn't really react to the shot. I think he picked it up late because he looked surprised when Dowd scored.
The Monarchs were again penalized for five minor penalties as well as Crescenzi's 15 minutes for targeting the head. Overall their PK was excellent, especially on the five minute major. They were aggressive, J.F. Berube was excellent and Dowd even drew a penalty. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Pirates managed just two shots on goal during their five minute power play and Brendan Shinnimin's penalty put his team down a man for 1:36 followed by an abbreviated 24 second power play for the Monarchs.
The penalty kill only ceded one goal and it was on a tripping minor with 13:30 left in the game. A worse team might've lost control and complete composure and allowed Portland back in the game. While things were chippy and penalty filled (especially in the last few minutes with both Forbort and Miller being involved in a scrum and had to sit for two minutes), the Monarchs maintained their heads enough for the win.
Andy Tonge of Mayor's Manor has a great read up here, including some of his thoughts about Justin Auger and how well Kempe has played.
Manchester Monarchs 15 Playoffs Schedule
* If necessary
The Monarchs are in Portland tonight for Game 3. Down two in a best of five series, I suspect the Pirates will play even more with an edge tonight than they have before. The Pirates play very similarly to their NHL team, which I suppose is pretty typical. Anyway, Monarchs have the chance to close out the series tonight, but it'll be extremely difficult to do.