Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs' Pearson steps up when needed most
Even though it was his linemates Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli who had been called up, Tanner Pearson answered the bell with a goal and three assists to lead the Monarchs to two wins over Providence this past weekend.
“Toff put in his time last year and Veysey has played two years in the league here. I’m patiently waiting for that call, and we’ll see what happens,” Pearson said. “When guys get called up, you don’t want to be the guy who looks like you get all your points off those two. That was a big weekend in that aspect. I think I succeeded.”
“He really competed hard, and I think that says a lot about him and his pride, and I think he set a good example for the other guys,” Morris said. “If you’re going to get opportunities, you have to prove you belong, and those are the types of efforts that get you the recognition you’re looking for. His presence on that line elevated both (Shore and Andreoff), and they had strong games as well. That’s exactly what you would hope would happen.”
“The AHL is a funny league,” Morris said. “You have to stay healthy and learn to adapt. Thus far, we’ve been able to find our way. The margin for wins and losses is very slim. Timely goals and good goaltending have given us the spot we’re in right now.”
LONDONDERRY’S Ian O’Connor, who had been with St. John’s, was re-signed this week along with defenseman Chris Huxley. Both finished last season in Manchester.
“The addition of Chris Huxley and Ian O’Connor brings us two familiar faces that were a part of our late-season run last year,” Morris said. “When you can add guys of that character to your lineup and guys of that quality, it’s a much smoother transition. They’re a little bit older, but they’re great team players. When you have call-ups, these guys help to fill that void, and they do a great job of it.”
THE MONARCHS make the first of two road trips to Newfoundland this weekend, playing at St. John’s Friday and Saturday nights ( 6 p.m.). The IceCaps are in second place in the Atlantic at 5-6-1 for 11 points.
MORRIS is two wins away from 300 as a professional coach. He would become the first coach ever to log 300 wins at the pro and college levels.
Morris was head coach at Clarkson University for 14 years, racking up 306 wins.