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Toffoli tallies twice as Monarchs win

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(CP) — Tyler Toffoli scored two goals in the first period as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 3-2 Friday night in American Hockey League action.

Andrei Loktionov added a goal and Linden Vey has two assists for the Monarchs (15-15-2-2).

St. John’s (15-19-0-1) had goals from Spencer Machacek and Raymond Sawada.

The Monarchs got out to a quick start, completely dominating the first five minutes of the game for a 2-0 lead. Toffoli scored both of the opening goals, with Vey setting up each.

The first goal came at 2:02 on what seemed like a harmless play. Toffoli fired a wrist shot from near the blue line that somehow found its way into the IceCaps net.

Toffoli’s second goal came at 4:57, and came too easily when he was set up just to the side of the IceCaps goal and received a pass from behind the net that he buried.

It appeared the first period would be all Manchester, until Machacek added a goal 16 minutes into the period. Machacek’s goal followed a few hard-working shifts for St. John’s, and the goal itself was a result of a gritty play.

Machacek swung in front of the net to jump onto a loose puck after Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones gave up a big rebound. Machacek put the puck top-shelf to give St. John’s some life.

The second period was a quiet one, which suited the IceCaps, who have generally had a tough time with second periods this season.

Loktionov opened the third period scoring for the Monarchs with a goal at 9:21, finishing off a cross-crease pass from Dwight King for the insurance goal.

Sawada scored to bring the IceCaps within one at 18:22 with the St. John’s net empty.

Jones finished with 32 saves while Eddie Pasquale stopped 26 shots.