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December 10. 2011 10:49PM

Mignardi makes first goal count as Monarchs win

Rob Mignardi’s first goal as a Manchester Monarch was also the game-winning goal as the Queen City club skated to a 3-2 AHL victory over the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., Saturday.

Mignardi, playing in his eighth game as a Monarch, scored an unassisted goal at 3:53 of the third period to put Manchester ahead by a pair of goals, and the locals hung on for the win.

It was Manchester’s 10th one-goal victory and 12th one-goal game in its past 13 contests.

The Monarchs jumped to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Richard Clune and Patrick Mullen. Clune deposited his fourth goal of the season, with assists going to David Meckler and Marc Andre Cliche, at 14:47 of the first period.

Mullen beat Falcons goalie Manny Legace with a shorthanded goal 2:51 into the second period. Dwight King assisted.

Springfield sharpshooter Cam Atkinson halved the Falcons deficit at 10:45 of the middle frame when he drove a power-play goal home past Manchester goalie Jeff Zatkoff.

Mignardi tallied his game-winner early in the third, before Martin St. Pierre pulled the Falcons to within one, 3-2, with just under 13 minutes left in the game. Atkinson was credited with an assist.

The Monarchs’ Zatkoff, however, sealed off his goal the rest of the way to gain the victory. He finished with 33 saves. Legace, meanwhile, turned aside 20 of the 23 shots he faced.

The win improves the Monarchs record to 15-10-2 for 32 points. They remain in second place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, two points behind the front-running St. John’s Icecaps.

Manchester returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Elm Street this afternoon for a 3 p.m. matinee skate with the division’s third-place Portland Pirates. Portland topped the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-2, Saturday.

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NOTES: The Los Angeles Kings have assigned forward Ethan Moreau to the Monarchs. Moreau, who cleared waivers Saturday, had one goal and four points, and 20 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Kings...Manchester is seeking its eighth consecutive win on home ice this afternoon.

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