The Elmira Jackals jumped on the Manchester Monarchs in the first period, scoring three goals on the span of 1:32, to take a commanding lead and cruise to a 4-2 victory behind 47 saves from Shane Owen. Matt Garbowsky, Cason Hohmann, Kyle Bushee and Tyler Currier scored for the Jackals. Bushee's game-winning goal set a new Jackals all-time ECHL record for goals scored by a defenseman.
Entering tonight, the Jackals were in the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Atlanta Gladiators. The possibility of a potential playoff matchup with Manchester led to a post-season atmosphere at First Arena and the pack came out with a purpose. Matt Garbowsky opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season at 11:07 of the opening frame. Garbowsky, Mark Bennett and Colin Jacobs upped the pressure on the forecheck and created an extended in-zone opportunity which resulted in Garbowsky firing the puck past Doug Carr. Spiro Goulakos and Mark Bennett earned the assists.
Just 14 seconds later, the Jackals struck again. Immediately off the faceoff following Garbowsky's goal, Ian Young fed a pass to Allan McPherson who raced down the left wing side and laid a perfect pass backdoor to Cason Hohmann for the tap-in tally. Hohmann's marker was his 18th of the season and increased his team-leading point total to 49.
Only 1:18 after Hohmann's goal, the pesky pack pushed for another. Matt Garbowsky and Justin Bernhardt led a quick rush down the right wing side and as Bernhardt's received the give-and-go feed from Garbowsky he found Kyle Bushee slipping backdoor for his sixth strike of the season. Kyle Bushee's goal was his 21st in a Jackals sweater, which sets a new club record for goals scored by a defenseman in the team's ECHL history.
The Monarchs tried to mount a comeback early in the second period as Zac Larraza recorded his 16th goal of the season with a power-play marker just 37 seconds into the middle frame.
However, less than three minutes, the Jackals regained their three-goal advantage with an amazing individual effort by Tyler Currier. He blocked a dump-in from the Jackals blue line and forced the puck out on second effort, then chased it down and started down the right wing side as Larraza tripped him to the ice. That did not stop Currier as he regained his feet and walked down the wing on a two-on-one then fired a shot far-side for his team-leading 20th goal of the season.
Manchester added one at 4:19 with a one-time shot by Nicholas Kuqali off an offensive zone faceoff for his first career ECHL goal, but that would be as close as they would come.
Shane Owen improved his record with the Jackals to 5-0-0 in five starts by stopping 47 of 49 shots faced. Doug Carr allowed four goals on 32 shots faced and was saddled with the loss.
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March 19: Elmira Jackals vs. Manchester Monarchs - 7:05 p.m. EDT. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!
March 25: Elmira Jackals vs. Brampton Beast - 7:05 p.m. EDT. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!
March 26: Elmira Jackals vs. Brampton Beast - 7:05 p.m. EDT. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!