ALBANY, N.Y. (January 22, 2005). For parts of the game last night (certainly the first period), it seemed that the red light behind goaltender Ari Ahonen was lighting up even more than the yellow flashing lights of Albany area snow plows, which were themselves working overtime to cope with a snow storm that dumped some 24 inches of snow on area roads. River Rats' fans actually would have preferred that some of that snow piled up in front of the Rats' net.
Capitalizing on every scoring chance in the Albany end, the visiting Manchester Monarchs, cheered on by a bus load of partisans from the Granite State, the league-leading affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, raced out to a 4-0 lead after twenty minutes.
The onslaught began with an Albany defensive turnover. Bobby Allen lost the puck to a forechecking George Parros, who relayed it to an open Dustin Brown in the slot. Brown bested Ahonen, stick-side low.
The more painful goal by Jeff Miles, at least from the Albany point of view, followed by seconds an energetic penalty kill. Jason Holland's blast from the blue line clanged off the right post. Ahonen lost sight of it and it lay outside the paint. Monarchs' center, Jeff Miles, swooped in and scooped the puck into the empty side of the net.
A screened shot from the blue line became a power play goal for George Parros at 17:19. Exactly one minute later, Petr Kanko wrapped one around the right post, causing the Albany goaltender to break his stick in frustration.
The second period was an entirely different story. Ironically, goaltender Ari Ahonen actually sparked the River Rats by drawing a rare double-minor penalty. After Noah Clarke slashed the Albany goaltender, Ahonen repeatedly punched the Monarchs' left winger. The resulting Manchester power play turned into an Albany short-handed goal. Forward Ilkka Pikkarainen charged hard to the net and forward Dean McAmmond finished off the rebound that Manchester goaltender Mathieu Garon was unable to corral.
The Rats continued their middle-frame rally with a power play goal by Ahren Nittel. Dean McAmmond snapped a pass through the defensive coverage to Nittel, stationed at the far post. His goal made it a 4-2 contest.
Ari Ahonen made some sharp saves in the second period, including stopping Matt Ryan at close range, and Dustin Brown from between the circles. At the other end, Garon turned aside an odd-man rush from the Rats that featured Zach Parise and Aleksander Suglobov.
The Monarchs silenced the River Rats' rally in the third. Keeping up his bid for the league scoring title, Monarchs' center, Mike Cammalleri, darted in and out of traffic, to finish off Brad Smyth's pass, early in the third. Dave Steckel of Manchester tapped in a rebound of Jeff Miles' shot and the Monarchs wrapped up their victory, 6-2.
The three stars: third, to Dean McAmmond of Albany, with a goal and an assist (for the second consecutive night); second, to Manchester right winger, George Parros, with a goal and an assist; and, first, to Mike Cammalleri of the Monarchs, with one marker and one helper.
Pack were down 3-0 and 4-1 vs. Lowell...then I guess they looked at the at the AHL scores and saw the Monarchs were blowing the Rats out so they turned up the heat in the 3rd and scored 4 goals in the 3rd to win 6-4. Lowells 7 game winning streak was snapped.
Jeeze this race for 1st in the AHL is neck and neck. Each team matches each other. Pack win every night Monarchs win and Pack loose every night Monarchs loose (well in the past 2 weeks)