Monarchs' win puts Morris on the doorstep of history
Special to The Union Leader
ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland – Right wing Brian O'Neill scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal with 13 seconds remaining in the game to give the Manchester Monarchs a 3-2 win over the St. John's IceCaps at Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
Monarchs coach Mark Morris is one win away from becoming the first coach with 300 professional wins and 300 college wins. Morris will have his chance at making history when Manchester hosts the Norfolk Admirals in a 10 a.m. contest at Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday.
Manchester (9-2-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 21 points. St. John's (6-7-1-0) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 13 points.
"Tonight's effort was much improved," Morris said. "Everyone showed up and left it all out on the ice. It was a hectic pace throughout the game. Our energy and compete level withstood some tough situations, none bigger than being whistled for a call in the last minute and a bit of regulation. We overcame the odds with a timely shorthanded goal by Brian O'Neill with 14 ticks left on the clock. Wins like this one are memories people don't forget. It was a great way to end the weekend before heading home to Manchester."
O'Neill broke up the play in the neutral zone and split two IceCaps defensemen to break in on goaltender Eddie Pasquale all alone. Skating in on goal, O'Neill pulled the puck to his backhand and slipped it over the right pad of the netminder for his third tally of the season at 19:47 of the third period.
Andy Andreoff and Hunter Bishop also scored for Manchester.
Martin Jones (9-2-2) earned his ninth win of the season stopping 31 out of 33 shots.