Reading Strikes Back on Star Wars Night: Monarchs fall, 3-0

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Monarchs blanked by Reading, 3-0.
The Force was not strong with the Monarchs Saturday night, as they were blanked by Reading, 3-0.

MANCHESTER, NH – Even though it was Star Wars Night at the Verizon Wireless Arena, the Force was not strong with the Manchester Monarchs, who were shutout for the first time this season, dropping the game, 3-0, to the Reading Royals.

The Monarchs (13-8-0-0) fell to the Royals (10-8-0-1), snapping their season high four-game winning streak.

“I think we were flat tonight,” Head Coach Rich Seeley said. “Reading played a solid game and we just took too many penalties.  You can’t win a hockey game when you do stuff like that.”

Pre-game view of the locker room, with Star Wars jerseys at the ready.
Pre-game view of the locker room, with Star Wars jerseys at the ready.

Reading opened the scoring with a power-play goal from forward Matt Hatch, his sixth of the season, at 19:08 of the first period. Hatch redirected a one-timer from defensemen Adam Comrie past Monarchs goaltender, Colin Stevens, and Reading took the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The Royals added to their lead with their second goal via the power play, when Comrie scored his ninth goal of the season at 13:50 of the second period. Yannick Tifu sent a pass from the top of the right face-off circle to Comrie, where he fired a shot past Stevens to make it 2-0 after two periods of play.

Mid-way through the second period, Stevens was run into by two players, leaving the goalie motionless on the ice for a minute.  Stevens skated off the ice under his own power, and was replace by Steve Mastalerz.

Reading extended their lead with their third power-play goal of the night, when Robbie Czarnik scored his ninth goal of the season. Czarnik skated from the left corner toward the front of the net and beat Mastalerz short side to give the Royals the 3-0 lead at 18:40 of the final frame.

The Monarchs finish off their three-game series with the Royals Dec. 6 (3 p.m.), in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game at the Jungle.

Notes
  • The Monarchs were shutout for the first time this season.
  • Manchester did not score on the power play for the first time in four games (4-0-0-0 in that stretch) dating back to Nov. 24 at Atlanta.
  • The loss snaps a season high four-game winning streak
  • Monarchs goaltender Steve Mastalerz made his ECHL debut in relief of Colin Stevens
About Carol Robidoux 5140 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.