Monarchs muddle through week, set for homestand’s second half

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“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when….”

We’ve got just a month and change left now in the ECHL regular season. It’s time to take a look back at the first half of the Monarchs’ latest homestand.

It’s February 27, here’s your Manchester Monarchs Week in Review.

Game Recap

Three games, three points. Not optimal by any means and certainly not up to the standards set during Manchester’s recent southern road trip, but not their worst stretch of the season by any means.

Still, Monarchs head coach Rich Seeley’s general threshold for success is grabbing nine points in each seven-game span, meaning Manchester would need win two of their three games this week to keep on that pace at the end of this current homestand.

Three Stars

Top Star: Charles Williams – The Monarchs’ main goaltender was one mistake away from a shutout on Sunday and had a solid game on Friday. The fact that Worcester was able to score four goals in the contest in between his two appearances only magnifies his importance to this team.

Second Star: Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman – No goals this week, but three assists, keeping him three points back of the league lead in points.

Third Star: Matt Schmalz – Schmalz was one of just two Monarchs with a positive plus/minus rating during the past three games (the other was Eric Schurhamer) and a key catalyst on the Monarchs’ first line.

Beyond the Blue Lines

Evan Cawley returned from Springfield on Saturday after just over two months back in the AHL. It looks likely for the foreseeable future that Cawley will fill in on odd nights to give Williams rest while Williams takes the brunt of work in goal for the Monarchs.

Martin Nemcik has also become a key role player filling in wherever needed on defensive lines when Seeley needs to modify the roster due to day-to-day injuries or roster movement.

The only other major roster move this week was the addition of Kevin Morris from Binghamton in the AHL. Morris played on Saturday and Sunday, grabbing an assist and recording four shots.

Morris, 24, returns to Manchester after playing in 12 games for Binghamton this season, posting two assists, while recording 11 penalty minutes. Morris has played in 21 games this season for the Monarchs, racking up nine goals and seven assists for 16 points.

Coming Up

Wheeling stops by on Wednesday night before double dose of the Adirondack Thunder on Friday and Saturday. The puck drops at 7 p.m. for the first two games while the second game has a 6 p.m. start.

The Monarchs then head to Worcester for a rare 3:05 p.m. Monday contest.

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