We’ve got one week left in the regular season, hopefully it will be better than the second-to-last week of the regular season.
It’s April 3, 2018, here’s your Manchester Monarchs Week in Review.
Three games and three losses. The Monarchs have gone into small slumps throughout the season, so there’s probably no need to panic just yet, especially given the comparative urgency of their opponents during those games.
Still, giving up over five goals a game is not a path to success, especially against two teams they may see soon in the playoffs.
Wheeling in particular could become a dark horse against the Monarchs if they can reach the playoffs, with the Nailers averaging just over four goals a game in the five meetings between the two teams this season.
Top Star – Rob Hamilton: Three assists in three games. Welcome back, Rob.
Second Star – Kevin Morris and Alexx Privitera: Two players had a goal and an assist this week. It’s fairly unusual for the Monarchs to not have any players posting at least two goals in a week, but as stated above, they did not have the best week.
Third Star – Matt Schmalz – It’s become the custom here at Manchester Monarchs Week in Review that a player can’t get to the three stars if they don’t play in all of that week’s games, but Schmalz has earned a waiver for his ability to fit in well on the Monarchs’ first and second lines throughout the season, moving around, or even out of the lineup, as needed.
He was also the only Monarch without a negative plus/minus, not an easy feet during a week when your team is outscored by ten goals.
Beyond the Blue Lines
Nothing too much to report here as the regular season comes to a close. Guillaume Naud got a chance in the first game against Reading, giving Schmalz the night off, and Nic Pierog got to play in both Reading games before he was dropped for the Wheeling game.
As stated above, Hamilton returned from his loan to Laval in the AHL and Jayce Hawryluk becomes the umpteen millionth Springfield Thunderbird this season to come down to Manchester, adding two assists during the second Reading loss.
Manchester has three games left in their regular season, and the ECHL North Division title will likely be determined by their visit to Glens Falls on Friday, where they face the Adirondack Thunder one last time.
The Monarchs are one point ahead of Adirondack in the division standings and the Thunder only have two games left, including the Manchester game.
After their trip to New York state, the Monarchs conclude their season with a home-and-home against the Worcester Railers.
Like Manchester, Worcester has three games left in the regular season as of today. Also like Manchester, the Railers are one point ahead of another team with only two games left to play: Wheeling.
It remains to be seen whether Manchester will play Worcester or Wheeling in the first round of the playoffs, but no matter who they play, the ECHL playoffs are set to begin on Thursday, April 12.