The Elmira Jackals entered today with a six-game winning streak, the longest current streak in the ECHL, but ran into Michael Houser who stopped 35 shots to defeat the Jackals 3-1 in Elmira's final regular-season visit to the Verizon Wireless Arena. Tyler Currier scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season as he continues his career-year.
The Monarchs scored the game's opening goal at 9:24 of the first period as former Jackal Ryan Patsch and Harry Quast worked the puck free deep in the Jackals end and found Kyle Smith in front for a shot that deflected off the crossbar and past C.J. Motte. Smith's goal was his first professional goal while Quast's assist was his first pro point. Both players recently signed with Manchester out of the University of New Hampshire. C.J. Motte stopped eight of nine shots in the first period whileMichael Houser turned aside all eight he faced.
Manchester bolstered its lead in the second period with back-to-back power-play goals within the first 3:57 of the middle frame. First, Joe Diamond banged home a loose puck for his 18th goal of the season assisted by Maxim Kitsyn and Matt Fornataro. Kitsyn's assist extended his point streak to 15 games, which is the longest current streak in the ECHL.
Just 1:40 later, while back on the power-play, Gasper Kopitar finished off a rebound after C.J. Motte made a save on the initial point-blank chance from the slot. Derek Arnold and Alex Roach earned the assists on Kopitar's eighth goal of the season. The Jackals outshot the Monarchs 14-12 in the second period but Michael Houser turned aside each attempt. C.J. Motte stopped 10 of 12 shots faced in the middle frame.
The Jackals turned up the pressure in the third period, outshooting the Monarchs 14-6, and finally breaking through Houser at 12:41. Tyler Currier redirected a shot from the right wing wall past Houser for his team-leading 19th goal of the season. Ian Young and Mark Bennett earned the assists. However, despite a late push and pulling the goalie with three minutes remaining, the Jackals were unable to comeback against Houser and the Monarchs.
C.J. Motte stopped 24 of 27 shots faced, but was handed the loss. Michael Houser turned aside 35 of 36 shots faced and earned the win.
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March 16: Elmira Jackals vs. Norfolk Admirals - 7:05 p.m. EDT. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!
March 18: 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 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!