Monarchs get roster shakeup on near-perfect week

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Was it a perfect week? No, but it was pretty close.

It’s Feb. 25, 2018. Here’s what’s been going in lately in Monarchs Country.

Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Manchester 7, Worcester 2 (home)

Friday, Feb. 22 – Reading 4, Manchester 3 (home – shootout)

Saturday, Feb. 23 – Manchester 5, Maine 2 (home)

Coming home from a poor Florida road trip, the Monarchs took two of three back in the Granite State and was just two minutes away from a third win against Reading, eventually falling after a shootout.

It certainly was disappointing to drop that Friday contest, but Manchester Head Coach Doug Christiansen left the week pleased overall.

“Obviously, any time you leave a point on the board it’s disappointing,” he said. “But wholistically, I think getting 5 of 6 points against three teams that are chasing us is fantastic.”

No matter how you slice it, the team desperately needed the points after dropping three of four a week earlier, with third place and seventh place in the ECHL’s North Division divided by just six points.

Manchester finishes the week at 61 points on the season, within spitting distance of Adirondack’s second place 67-point figure and 19 points short of the general ECHL playoff berth threshold in recent years.

The Monarchs play all three games next week at SNHU Arena, with a rematch against Worcester on Wedneday (7 p.m.), followed by a pair of games against Adirondack on Friday and Saturday (7 p.m. and 6 p.m.)

Those games will feature a roster that has seen significant changes over the past few days, adding Indy’s Kevin Dufour as well as Wheeling’s Brian Diffley and Alex Rauter, while saying farewell to Spencer Watson, Zeb Knutson and Eric Shurhamer.

Only one month remains in Manchester’s regular season, with only one non-divisional game remaining. That comes on Sunday, March 10 against Norfolk at home, with fans able to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup in the SNHU Arena concourse prior to the game.

Top Star: Nic Pierog (2 goals, 4 assists, +3, 6 shots on goal)

Second Star: Sam Kurker (2 goals, 3 assists, +6, 12 shots on goal)

Third Star: Tony Cameranesi (2 goals, 3 assists, +6, 8 shots on goal)