Monarchs lose franchise-record fifth straight
Monarchs goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Thomas Hickey can't stop Martin St. Pierre from scoring in the second period Wednesday night. (MARK BOLTON / UNION LEADER)
MANCHESTER — The Manchester Monarchs collected a franchise record they had hoped to avoid.
Springfield was a 2-1 winner over the Monarchs in front of 3,103 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena Wednesday night. The loss was the fifth in a row for Manchester, setting a franchise record.
The Monarchs (3-6-0) play at Portland Friday before returning home Saturday for a 7 p.m. game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Canadian Heritage Night.
Trailing 2-1 in the third period, the Monarchs put on a furious charge as the time dwindled. Most of the final 10 minutes were played in the Falcons end and the final 90 seconds featured numerous near-misses for Manchester.
Justin Azevedo had the best chance with about 12 seconds remaining as the Monarchs skated a six-on-three advantage thanks to a Springfield penalty and an extra attacker with goalie Martin Jones on the bench.
But Azevedo’s blast from the slot hit the post and clanged away and the Falcons fled town with a victory.
Former Monarchs goalie Danny Taylor was sharp all night for the Falcons, stopping 32 shots.
Springfield (4-5-0) took a 1-0 lead at the 3:37 mark of the first period on a goal from Ray Macias during a four-on-four. Nick Drazenovic carried the puck deep on the left wing side and sent a pretty backhand drop pass to Macias streaking into the slot untouched and Macias buried a shot high over the glove of Martin Jones.
The Falcons extended to a 2-0 lead just 48 seconds into the second period on a strange play. As Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell blasted Falcon Wade MacLeod at the left post with a body check, the puck squirted through Jones and came to rest in the crease on the right side where Martin St. Pierre pounced on it and roofed it before Jones could recover.
The Monarchs were able to cut the score to 2-1 at 7:00 of the second period. An errant pass in the Manchester zone sent Monarchs Jordan Nolan and Dwight King away on a two-on-one breakaway.
Nolan carried the puck the whole way on the left side, snapping a shot through the legs of Danny Taylor along the ice for the unassisted goal. It was Nolan’s second tally of the season and seemed to give the Monarchs some spark that would carry into the third period.