Game 16: Elmira Jackals (3-10-2-0) vs. Manchester Monarchs (11-6-0-1)
4:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York
The Jackals finish off a their post-holiday three-in-three with a second straight game against the Manchester Monarchs at First Arena. It's the second of 14 head-to-head matches between the teams this season, the most the Jackals face one opponent.
The Monarchs are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 games, but have lost back-to-back games in regulation for just the second time this season. They lost to the Florida Everblades Friday before getting beaten by the Jackals last night. The loss dropped Manchester to second place in the North Division, a point behind Adirondack.
The Jackals snapped a 10-game winless streak with last night's 5-3 win over the Monarchs, earning Elmira's first win in November. Elmira scored a season-high five goals in the win. After wrapping up this three-in-three, the Jackals will quickly return to action Wednesday at home against Kalamazoo.
Purchase single game tickets by calling (607) 734-7825, visiting the Main Street Box Office at First Arena or online.
Jackals Pregame at 3:50 p.m. Radio:1410 WELM
Last time out
Steven Kaunisto scored twice in the third period and the Jackals topped the first-place Manchester Monarchs, 5-3, last night at First Arena.
The Jackals rolled out to a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the first period, when Kenton Miller scored his fourth goal of the season on a rebound in front. It remained a 1-0 lead into the second of period, before the lead changed hands twice. The Monarchs scored twice less than a minute apart, with Derek Arnold tying the game at 2:17 and Joe Diamond giving Manchester a 2-1 lead at 3:11.
The Jackals reclaimed the lead later in the second period, with Greg Betzold tying the game up at two at 13:35 and Mike Radja making it 3-2 at 15:52. In the third, Kaunisto buried a loose puck at the left circle, making it a two-goal game at 3:15 of the third. After the Monarchs scored a power-play goal, Kaunisto iced the game with an empty-net goal to give the Jackals a 5-3 win.
This weekend marks the first three-in-three for the Jackals this season, as they host Reading and Manchester following Thanksgiving. Elmira will play 10 three-in-threes during the regular season, but don't have another one until January.
After this weekend, the next three-in-three for the Jackals will be Jan. 20-22, when they play three straight games in Manchester. That will begin a stretch of three straight weekends of three-in-threes.
Last season, the Jackals had just four instances of three games in three nights.
Scouting the Monarchs
With consecutive regulation losses, the Monarchs have dropped to second in the North Division. They had won six in a row, before losing their last two, but at 11-6-0-1 and with 23 points, they are one point behind Adirondack for first place, although the Thunder have a game in hand on Manchester. The Monarchs lost their first road game of the season last night, moving to 5-1-0-0 away from SNHU Arena.
Manchester is fifth in the league in scoring at 3.72 goals per game, potting 67 goals in 18 games. 10 players are in double figures in points this season, led by Joe Diamond who has 17 points (8g, 9a), including a team-high three game-winning goals. Daniel Ciampini (6g, 10a) has 16 points while Justin Agosta (5g, 10a) and David Kolomatis (3g, 12a) are tied for third on the team with 15 points. Agosta is third in the ECHL in scoring among defensemen.
In goal, Sam Brittain has appeared in 11 games for the Monarchs, posting an 8-2-0-0 record with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He had won his last five starts since Nov. 6 before taking the loss last night. Jonah Imoo made his Monarchs and ECHL debut last night, allowing four goals in the loss to the Jackals.
Tonight is the second of 14 matches between the Jackals and Monarchs in 2016-17, which is the most head-to-head meetings for the Jackals against one opponent this year. After the two games at First Arena, the series will resume Dec. 16-17 in Manchester.
Last season, in the first year of the head-to-head series, the Monarchs won six of 11 matches against the Jackals. They split the six games at First Arena in 2015-16.
Among returning players, Derek Arnold was the leading scorer in the series, posting eight points (2g, 6a) in eight games. Matt Leitner (2g, 5a) and Joe Diamond (1g, 6a) both had seven points against Elmira.
The Monarchs special teams has been a big reason for their success in 2016-17. They rank first in the ECHL on the power play at 25.8%, going 16-for-62 through their first 18 games. On the road the Monarchs power play is humming at a 27.3% success rate, 6-for-22 in five games.
The Jackals power play went 0-for-1 in their win last night against Manchester, moving to 7-for-43 (16.3%) with the man advantage, ranking 17th in the league. At First Arena, the Jackals power play is just 3-for-21 (14.3%) in seven games.
Manchester's penalty kill is also among the best in the league, going 62-for-69 (89.9%) and ranking third in the ECHL. The Monarchs are even better on the road, stopping 23-of-25 (92.0%) opponent's power plays in six road matches this season.
The Jackals penalty kill was 2-for-3 last night and is now 22-for-26 (84.6%) in the last 10 games. On the season they are 33-for-42 (78.6%) on the penalty kill, ranking 23rd in the league. They have been shorthanded fewer than any other team in the league.