ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND – The Newfoundland Growlers are among the ECHL’s elite tier this season, providing more proof arriving on Saturday with their seventh win in a row over the Manchester Monarchs, this one coming by the score of 5-2.
Scott Pooley provided the hosts with a pair of first period goals just over a minute apart, establishing a lead that grew with goals from Brady Ferguson and Marcus Power early in the second period.
A power-play goal from Jack Nevins ended Newfoundland’s shutout hopes 48 seconds into the third period, but Josh Kestner’s 22nd goal of the season restored the Growlers’ four-goal advantage 3:14 into the period.
Another power play goal, this one from Sam Kurker, put the Monarchs back within three goals once again with just under 12 minutes left in regulation. However, Newfoundland goaltender Michael Garteig stopped the Monarchs’ final seven shots, finishing with 42 saves on the evening.
Manchester starting goaltender Charles Williams left after Newfoundland’s fourth goal, with Cole Kehler stopping 23 shots in relief.
Following Saturday’s results, Manchester (36-29-2-2) remains firmly ensconced in the ECHL North Division’s third-place position, with Brampton now holding the final playoff spot with their 7-0 victory over Worcester.
Brampton’s win, combined with a 4-2 Maine loss to Adirondack now puts Maine in fifth place, on the outside looking in. Manchester currently sits three points ahead of Maine, with Manchester now needing seven more points to ensure a playoff spot from a combination of either wins and overtime losses or Maine losses.
In the meantime, the Monarchs now heads back to the U.S. for their final road game of the regular season, taking on Worcester at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday.