Gameday #48: Monarchs vs. Senators

Tonight is the second of two meetings between the Binghamton Senators (28-13-0-3) and the Manchester Monarchs (28-12-2-5). The puck drops at 7pm EST. That's 4pm for you fans on the Kings coast.

The previous meeting was on January 3rd in Binghamton. The Senators won 5-4 on an overtime goal by Mike Hoffman. Hoffman had a goal and two assists that night and 10 other Senators notched points. Tanner Pearson (1 goal, 1 assist) and Linden Vey (2 assists) had multi-point nights for the Monarchs in the loss. AJ Gale, Brandon Kozun :(, and Colin Miller had goals while Jordan Weal and goaltender Jean-Francois Berube each had an assist. Beurbe made 26 saves in the overtime loss while the Senators Nathan Lawson made 31 saves.

Both teams lead their respective divisions and have identical point percentages of 67%, which ranks third best in the AHL behind the Springfield Falcons (70%) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (68.2%).

Game Notes

Binghamton Manchester
GP 44 47
Record 28-13-0-3 28-12-2-5
Points 59 63
Division Rank 1st in East 1st in Atlantic
Conference Rank 4th in Eastern 1st in Eastern
Home/Away Away: 13-8-0-0 Home: 14-4-1-1
Last 10 7-3-0-0 5-4-0-1
Goals For 164 140
Goals Against 135 121
PIM/G 18.6 13.4
Shootout Record 2-3 4-5
Leading After 1 12-1-0-0 15-1-0-0
Trailing After 1 5-10-0-2 5-6-0-0
Tied After 1 11-2-0-1 8-5-2-4
Leading After 2 21-0-0-1 22-0-0-3
Trailing After 2 1-11-0-0 3-8-1-1
Tied After 2 6-2-0-2 3-4-1-1

Special Teams

Binghamton Manchester
PP% 22.9% (46-for-201) 13.8% (25-for-181)
PP Rank 3rd 27th
PP Home/Away Away: 22.2% (22-for-99) Home: 14.3% (9-for-63)
SHGA 5 5
PK% 80.7% 82.0%
PK Rank 17th 14th
PK Home/Away Away: 78.0% Home: 80.8%
SHGF 14 3

These teams have mediocre penalty kills considering they are two of the top teams in the league. The Monarchs take far fewer penalties per game than the Senators to, and they should make sure to be disciplined tonight because the Senators have the third best power play in the league.

The Monarchs should also be cautious on the power play because the Senators have a ridiculous 14 shorthanded goals. 14? What the hell? That's twice as much as the teams with the second most shorthanded goals.

Leading Scorers

The Senators have the second leading scorer in the AHL in Mike Hoffman. Hoffman has 22 goals, 31 assists, and 53 points in 42 games. He is third in the league in goals, assists, and shots (153). He is currently on a seven-game point streak that began on January 15th. In that span he has six goals and seven assists.

Cole Schneider is also in the top 20 in scoring for the Senators (15-20-35 in 40 GP). For the Monarchs, Jordan Weal is the only player in the top 20. Weal is tied for ninth with 10 goals, 29 assists, and 39 points in 47 games.

The Senators have to players with three shorthanded goals, which is the most in the AHL: Derek Grant and Cole Schneider. Rookie Buddy Robinson's two shorthanded goals are the second most among AHL rookies.

Senators rookie Matt Puempel is in the top 20 of AHL rookie scorers. He has totals of 17-8-25 in 44 games. His eight power play goals are tied for first among AHL rookies.

On the blueline, Chris Wideman of the Senators is tied for third in scoring among defensemen. He has five goals and 28 assists for 33 points in 40 games.

For the Monarchs, their presence in the league-leaders category is sparse. Nick Deslauriers, who recently returned to playing defense, is second in the AHL in shots on net with 162.

The one arbitrary category that the Monarchs have been the best in all season is plus/minus, and Andrew Bodnarchuk and Vincent LoVerde have been the top two for a big part of the season. However, the two defensemen are now second and third, respectively, with +29 and +28. The Senators rookie defenseman Fredrik Claesson leads the league with a +30. Manchester's Nick Shore is tied for second in rookie plus/minus with +12.


JF Berube will undoubtedly get the start against the Senators tonight. He has played all but one game with Martin Jones gone, and that game was an overtime loss last weekend against Worcester. In that game, Mathias Niederberger made his first stat and made 41 saves.

Berube probably won't play every game anymore now that Jones is gone for good, but he will be expected to elevate his play in important games against the league's best teams such as the Senators.

This season, Berube has played in 31 games and recorded one shutout. He is 17-12-2 with a goals against average of 2.47 and save percentage of 0.913.

The goaltenders for the Senators have each played 23 games. Nathan Lawson played against the Monarchs in the January 3rd win, but for the majority of the season he and Andrew Hammond have evenly split the starting duties.

Lawson is 15-5-0 in 23 games with a 2.55 GAA and 0.922 save percentage. Hammond is 12-8-3 in 23 games with a 3.23 GAA and 0.897 save percentage.


Starting goaltenders, line combinations, and defensive pairings will be updated here as soon as they're made available closer to game time.

Scratches for Binghamton: Danny Hobbs, Michael Sdao, Derek Grant. Starting for the Senators:

Matt Puempel - Buddy Robinson - David Dziurzynski

Mark Borowiecki - Daniel New

Nathan Lawson in net

Forward lines, with starters in bold:

Tanner Pearson - Linden Vey - Nick Deslauriers

Brian O'Neill - Jordan Weal - Sean Backman

AJ Gale - Nick Shore - Zach O'Brien

Andy Andreoff - Andrew Crescenzi - Scott Sabourin

Defensive pairs, with starters in bold:

Andrew Campbell - Andrew Bodnarchuk

Derek Forbort - Andrew Campbell

Vincent LoVerde - Chris Huxley

JF Berube in net.

First Period Recap

The Monarchs scored three goals in the first period: Brian O'Neill scored his 11th of the season at 3:24. Jordan Weal and Derek Forbort assisted. Tanner Pearson then scored on a wrist shot at 15:21. Pearson's 15th of the season came from Nick Deslauriers. Linden Vey then scored a shorthanded goal at 17:43 with Andrew Campbell in the box. It was Vey's 8th goal of the season assisted by Pearson.

Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play in the first. The Senators went 0-for-2. Both teams failed to score on extended two-man advantages.

The shots favored the Monarchs 14-5 in the period.

Second Period Recap

In the second period, Manchester scored two more goals. The goals came 35 seconds apart and resulted in Sens goaltender Lawson getting pulled and Andrew Hammond replacing him in net.

Chris Huxley scored his first goal of the season at 9:26. Jordan Weal had his second assist of the game on the goal. The fifth goal came from a beautiful slap shot in the high slot by AJ Gale at 10:01. It was Gale's 8th goal of the season and was assisted by Nick Shore and Andrew Campbell.

The Senators out-shot the Monarchs in this period 15-8, but are being outshot 22-20 overall. Manchester was 0-for-2 on the power play in the second period and is 0-for-5 on the power play tonight.

Final Score: Monarchs 5, Senators 1

The Monarchs had a sleepy third period. They were sloppy and made a lot of mistakes. The Senators had a lot of possession and forced Berube to make some solid saves, although they spoiled his shutout with just under three minutes left in the game. David Dziurzynski scored his fourth goal of the season at 17:09 with assists to Buddy Robinson and Daniel New.

In the third period the shots were 8-5 in favor of the Senators, and the final total was 28-27 in favor of the Sens. The assists on a few of the Monarchs goals were changed, and were as follows:

3:24 1st: O'Neill (11); Weal, Forbort.

15:21 1st: Pearson (15); Deslauriers.

17:43 1st: Vey (8); Pearson. Shorthanded.

9:26 2nd: Huxley (1); Weal, O'Neill.

10:01 2nd: Gale (8); Shore, Campbell.

The Good:

- They scored early and often.

- They were a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play and did what they needed to do in limiting the dangerous Senators power play in total opportunities.

- 10 different players recorded points. Jordan Weal (2 A), Tanner Pearson (1 G, 1 A) and Brian O'Neill (1 G, 1 A) had multi-point nights.

- The Senators are one of the best teams in the league, in first place in the best division in the East, and in two games against them this season the Monarchs have scored a total of nine goals.

The Bad:

- The power play. They went 0-for-8, including an extended two-man advantage.

- They slept through the third period. Luckily, the Senators had slept through the whole game.

- Seriously, the power play blew.

- They were out-shot 15-8 in the second period.

- But mostly the power play was the only negative to take away from this game.

Three Stars:

My votes for three stars were 1. Vey 2. Vey and 3. Vey. (They were actually 1. Vey, 2. Pearson, 3. Weal, but I forgot to fill out the sheet until they were being collected so I had to pull the names out of my ass more than anything.) The three stars ended up being:

3. Tanner Pearson (1 G, 1 A, +2, 5 shots)

2. Brian O'Neill (1 G, 1 A, +2, 4 shots)

1. Jean-Francois Berube (27 saves on 28 shots)

Long Live the Burger King Jerseys

Here are two GIFs of Linden Vey scoring the game winning goal in the final second of overtime against the Portland Pirates last Saturday when the Monarchs worse those beautiful LA Kings tribute jerseys.

You're welcome.

I have inquired about making these the full-time Monarchs jerseys but received no response.

Bonus GIF: Tanner Pearson

Update: GIFs of all five goals in Friday's 5-1 win

Vey's shorthanded goal:

Tanner Pearson:

Brian O'Neill:

Jordan Weal to Chris Huxley:

Nick Shore to AJ Gale: