Monarchs struggle against New England foes

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main wooThis week, the Manchester Monarchs faced off against a pair of nearby rivals but didn’t quite the results they were looking for, dropping two out of three games.

The Monarchs began the week with their first ever trip to Maine as an ECHL club. There, they fell 4-3 to the Maine Mariners, scoring first but giving up three unanswered goals between the waning moments of the second period and the latter half of the third period.

Although the Monarchs did manage to bring the game back within a goal with the extra skater, a late empty net goal for the Mariners proved to be the fatal blow for Manchester’s hopes.

Coming back home on Friday, the Monarchs suffered a similar fate, again falling 4-3. This time it was to the Worcester Railers, and like Wednesday, they once again gave up an early lead.  This time however, Tony Cameranesi took the lead back for the Monarchs, slapping home a one-timer for his second goal of the night.

Shortly after that goal, the Railers duplicated Maine’s effort against the Monarchs, scoring three unanswered goals to put the contest out of reach.

The Monarchs bounced back on Saturday in a rematch against Maine, squandering another early lead by adding three unanswered goals in the second period to put the game out of reach for good, eventually finishing with a 5-2 victory.

Saturday’s contest also marked the first three five minute major penalties for fighting the Monarchs have obtained this year, beginning with Colton Saucerman in the first period and followed scuffles by Nic Pierog and Craig Wyszomirski.

Wyszomirski’s brawl in particular proved vital to helping give Manchester some extra energy to finish the job.

“I think (Friday) we began our physicality, I think having Wyz in lineup really does that for us. (On Friday) we had a lot of chances to finish hits and that carried over,” said Monarchs Head Coach Doug Christiansen. “And Maine physical team and they’re not going to quit. So, you put those two things together and you’ll have a few fights. That’s okay with us, we’re going to be team tough.”

This week, the Monarchs face off at home against three foes they’ve already played this season: the Brampton Beast on Wednesday, the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday and the Reading Royals on Saturday.

Christiansen knows only a better effort will stave off a comparable week against Brampton, Newfoundland and Reading. However, he is pleased with the improvement shown recently.

“I’m disappointed with the results, but I’m very happy with the improvement our team made in the last week,” he said. “Last weekend we were not very good in the defensive zone, we were not doing what we needed to do on the backcheck, but we’ve corrected those mistakes. For me that’s a huge positive sign for things to come.”

Wednesday and Friday’s games have 7 p.m. starts while the Saturday game begins at 6 p.m.

Three Stars

Top Star: Tony Cameranesi – Points in all three games, five in total. Enough said.  

Second Star: Colton Saucerman – Ditto. Sure, Colton only had three, but as noted above, his fight on Saturday was one of the key things setting the tone for the contest. Plus he ended with a +4 plus/minus, not an easy thing to do over two losses.

Third Star: (tie) David Kolomatis and Nic Pierog – Kolo’s three-assist game on Friday and Pierog’s Gordie Howe hat trick on Saturday served as the two best single game performances of the week, with little to separate them on that front.

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.