Monarchs pull into tie for top spot in Eastern Conference

Winners of six straight games to go along with an 8-0-2 record in their last 10 games, the Manchester Monarchs have opened up a five-point lead in the East Division and moved into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Manchester picked up three wins in three days in Orlando last week, starting with a 3-0 win on Wednesday. Colin Stevens stopped all 25 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season while Josh Brown led the way offensively with two assists.

On Thursday, the Monarchs scored three times in a nine-minute span in the second period on their way to a 3-1 win. Mark Anthoine, Derek Arnold and Alex Guptill provided the goals and Doug Carr earned the win in goal with 39 saves, including 20 saves in the third period.

In the series finale on Friday, Manchester started quickly scoring twice in the opening period only to see the Solar Bears roar back to take a 3-2 lead with three goals in the second period. Matt Leitner tallied the tying goal midway through the third period, and the game eventually went to a shootout where Stevens stopped all four shots he faced and Arnold scored in the fourth round to give the Monarchs a 4-3 win.

Leitner ranks second among ECHL rookies with 28 assists and is third among first-year players with 37 points in 43 games this season. Maxim Kitsyn is fourth in the league with a +24 rating and is second with 149 shots on goal.

The Monarchs’ 16 road wins are second in the league and the club’s seven wins when trailing after two periods are the most in the ECHL.

Manchester concludes a four-game road trip on Wednesday at Reading before returning home for games against Elmira on Saturday and Sunday.