The Manchester Monarchs rung in the new year with a win, but can keep up the trend or will they fall back into their recent swoon?
It’s time for a look back at recent events in Monarchs hockey for the final week and change of 2018.
Thursday, Dec. 27 (road) – Maine 4, Manchester 3
Friday, Dec. 28 (road) – Adirondack 4, Manchester 2
Saturday, Dec. 29 (road) – Adirondack 3, Manchester 2
Monday, Dec. 31 (home) – Manchester 3, Maine 2
As of late, most Monarchs games have followed a similar formula: generally outshooting an opponent but falling behind early, only to make it close with late goals that aren’t quite enough for the win.
If not for the New Year’s Eve win against Maine, Manchester would be riding a six-game losing streak, stretching back to a road trip that held almost diametrically opposite fortunes.
The slide placed Manchester into the North Division basement, although they could have been as high as second if they duplicated the pace they set during the first half of December.
That fact is not lost on Monarchs head coach Doug Christiansen.
“We just to make sure we keep winning, we have so many divisional games left,” he said. “We just need to make sure we have more good weeks.”
One positive development came from the fact that Manchester’s power play is no longer the worst in the ECHL. Sure, they still have the worst home power play in the league, but their long early December trip primed the pump for what has become at least occasional success with the advantage.
“Even before Norfolk, our power play began to threaten and create chances and for us that was a positive we weren’t doing it for awhile,” said Christiansen. “It was just a matter of time before they started to go and now they’re starting to go.”
With the season around its halfway mark, Manchester now faces a crucial stretch, with eight games just two weeks.
The first game in that push comes in Glens Falls against Adirondack on Friday (7 p.m.) followed by a Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) contest against Reading and Norfolk respectively.
Three Stars of the Week
Top Star – Pavel Jenys (3 goals, 0 assists, -1, 10 shots)
Second Star – Daniil Miromanov (2 goals, 4 assists, 0+/-, 15 shots)
Third Star – Nic Pierog (1 goal, 3 assists, -1, 16 shots)