Monarchs hang tough to win
Manchester’s David Kolomatis, right, is congratulated by teammates Andrew Campbell (2) and Linden Vey for his power play goal during the first period of Saturday night’s AHL game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
MANCHESTER — The Manchester Monarchs scored three times in four chances in the shootout to claim a 5-4 win over the Providence Bruins in front of 5,917 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena Saturday night.
The Monarchs improved to 13-10-1 and will host Worcester today at 3 p.m. Providence has lost eight in a row and fell to 8-14-3.
Manchester appeared to have the game in hand with a late 4-3 lead, but Providence was awarded a five-on-three power play and Josh Hennessy scored with 1:37 remaining to force overtime. Overall, 13 minor penalties for 26 minutes were whistled in the game.
“When you look at the amount of quality minutes the penalty killers were out there, you’ve got to give them a ton of credit,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “We were dealt a pretty lousy hand coming down the stretch and we battled through it.”
Linden Vey, Jordan Nolan and Marc-Andre Cliche all scored shootout goals for Manchester. On the other side, only Jamie Arniel could beat Monarchs goalie Martin Jones.
“It’s two points,” Morris said. “It’s probably not the way we envisioned it happening. It didn’t need to be that way.”
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period. Providence took a 3-2 lead at the 5:00 mark when Hennessy took the return pass from a give-and-go with Craig Cunningham and beat Jones five-hole.
The Monarchs tied the game at 7:40 on a power-play goal from Brandon Kozun. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers hit the post with a shot and Kozun banged the rebound home. The assist was the first pro point for the rookie Deslauriers and he wasted little time getting his second one, setting up a David Meckler goal less than a minute later.
Deslauriers’ long short from the point was stopped by goalie Anton Khudobin, but Meckler was in position to pop in the rebound to make it 4-3 at 8:51.
“It’s been a while. Last year (in juniors) I was more of an offensive D,” Deslauriers said. “This is my first year and not playing on the power play, I’m not looking for points. I’m just looking to have a good year and help the team. It feels good to have the first two points.”
Manchester appeared to have the game in hand, but a pair of late penalty calls on Cam Paddock and Nolan gave the Bruins 1:05 of five-on-three time to work with and Hennessy scored his tying goal to force the overtime.
Manchester scored the only goal of the first period, taking advantage of a five-on-three power play chance. Defenseman David Kolomatis got the goal, taking a feed from Justin Azevedo and snapping a shot past Khudobin from the right circle at 16:38 for his fourth of the year.
Providence roared back in the second period, striking for two goals in less than three minutes to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Bartkowski sent Jordan Caron in with a breakout pass. Jones stopped Caron’s shot up high on his chest but the rebound went right to Cunningham flying to the net for a chip-in on the power play to tie the game 1-1.
Caron got one of his own at 11:22, netting his first of the year in his third game down in Providence since being re-assigned from Boston. Hennessy passed the puck from behind the net to a wide-open Caron in the slot for a quick rip past Jones to make it 2-1.
Azevedo pulled Manchester back even at 2-2 with his fifth goal of the season at 16:40. With Jones racing off the ice for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty call on Providence, Dwight King found Azevedo in the slot and Azevedo beat Khudobin clean with a nasty wrist shot.