In the week before Turkey Day, the Manchester Monarchs didn’t have much to be thankful for, losing four straight in the latest stretch in the early glut of games.
However, it seems that all they really needed was a change of scenery to get back on track.
It’s Nov. 28, 2017, here’s your Manchester Monarchs Week in Review.
The Monarchs return to New England after their first ever trip to Utah, and they return on a very good note.
In three games against the Grizzlies, Manchester outscored Utah, 14-5.
Their first win on the day before Thanksgiving came in the form of a shootout victory, with newcomer Spencer Watson providing the sole goal from either team in what was Manchester’s first shootout victory of the year.
Top Star: Charles Williams – It might be apples and oranges comparing Williams to the top goaltenders in the Monarchs’ AHL era like Jonathan Bernier and Jonathan Quick (even if Quick’s stop in Manchester was brief.)
Heck, it might be kumquats and oranges given the fact how early it is in the season. Still, the Monarchs’ current top netminder is quietly building a year comparable to any in franchise history at his position.
Over his first 11 starts, the Canton, MI native might not have gotten a shutout, but he’s also allowed two goals or less in seven of those appearances, with two of those seven games coming in Utah.
His 2.15 GAA is third among qualified ECHL netminders and first among rookies.
Second Star: Zac Lynch – Lynch got a pair of goals in the Friday offensive explosion and added another goal on Saturday to bring his team-leading total to nine.
It’s not even December yet, but he’s already halfway equaling his entire goal output from last season.
Second Star: Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman – It’s hard to argue with Lynch or Williams, but the third slot could have gone to a variety of Monarchs that put in quality performances in the trip.
LaVallee-Smotherman gets the nod though, ending the series with four points in the final two games (one goal, three assists) and a narrowly missing more goals in the first game as well.
Beyond the Blue Lines
Along with the addition of Watson on Wednesday, this week also marked the return of Tony Cameranesi, who had not suited up for the Monarchs since their Nov. 12 contest against Worcester.
Cameranesi added three assists in the Friday victory, giving him 17 points on the year, second on the team to Joel Lowry.
The Monarchs return home on Dec. 8 with a match up against the Norfolk Admirals, but that road back to New Hampshire stops in Worcester on Saturday.
Manchester’s 18 road points are tied for the lead league with the Kansas City Mavericks, also leading the league in goals scored away from home.
Unfortunately for the Monarchs, their only two regulation road losses have come against the Railers.
The Saturday visit to the DCU Center will be the last time Manchester sees their central Massachusetts rival until Dec. 30.