By Mike Mastovich
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Morgan Cey needed a rest for both mental and physical reasons. Someone else had to step up in the Johnstown Chiefs net.
Ryan Munce has done so admirably, winning two of three games and playing well in a one-goal loss. His ability to step in is one reason the Chiefs moved within three points of the ECHL North Division’s final playoff spot.
“Ryan Munce has done a great job,” Chiefs coach Frank Anzalone said on Wednesday night. “He’s gotten in there and made the team feel good and feel confident. He’s made some key saves. As his timing comes back he’ll be able to do more.”
Munce was in net for Tuesday morning’s 3-1 victory at Cincinnati. He stopped 45 shots and all six shootout attempts in a 3-2 win at Dayton on Saturday night.
Overall, Munce is 3-3-1 with the Chiefs and has lowered his goals against average to 2.93 while raising his save percentage to .908.
Cey has been Johnstown’s workhorse, appearing in 19 of 22 games prior to Munce’s three straight starts. The Notre Dame product has 19 wins, a 2.97 GAA and .916 save percentage.
But the workload has taken a toll.
“We’re trying to rest some concerns Morgan Cey has,” Anzalone said. “It’s anticipated Morgan will be back for the weekend.
“He’s been playing with some various injuries just like a lot of players,” the coach added. “It got to the point that the injuries were so exhaustive that it was going backwards. We made a decision to give him some time. Morgan could have played with discomfort, but we don’t want to hurt a player for his tomorrow. We hope Morgan has many tomorrows. We didn’t want him to be more injured.”
The Chiefs will play three straight home games against Toledo (Friday), Dayton (Saturday) and Cincinnati (Sunday).