ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Michael Hutchinson was relieved to say the first impression he left on IceCaps fans was a good one.
Hutchinson made 26 saves in his debut as a starter on home ice to carry the St. John's IceCaps to a 2-0 win over the Manchester Monarchs on Monday night in American Hockey League action.
"I don't think you can picture a better start," he said. "A shutout is nice, but the biggest thing is just getting the win and helping the team move up in the standings ...
"I just went out there and played the best I could and gave the team a chance to win the game."
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said he knew what to expect from Hutchinson.
"I'm not surprised, I've seen him play in Providence in previous years," McCambridge said. "He was outstanding. He gave us a chance to win the game and he made the saves look easy."
Blair Riley and Andrew Gordon scored for the IceCaps (21-16-3).
The IceCaps opened the scoring 13:23 into the first period, when Riley carried the puck around the net, circled out front and ripped a wrist shot top corner from the slot.
Gordon scored off a rebound from a Will O'Neill slapshot 14:06 into the third period, after Jean-Francois Berube was caught out of position after doing well to make the first save.
McCambridge was happy with how his team upped the tempo.
"I like the way we were able to play a competitive game and an intelligent three periods," he said. "We played a physical style that allowed us chances to get momentum in the game."
Berube finished with 25 saves for the Monarchs (26-12-6).