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January 14. 2012 10:10PM

Slumping Monarchs suffer fifth straight loss

Suffering through a mid-season slump, the Manchester Monarchs lost their fifth straight game as the Adirondack Phantoms garnered a 5-3 American Hockey League victory in Glens Falls, N.Y., Saturday night.

Manchester is 21-17-2 with 44 points and in second place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic division, one point ahead of the Worcester Sharks.

On Saturday, Manchester squandered a 2-1 lead by giving up four consecutive goals to the Phantoms, who are in second place in the Northeast Division.

Brandon Kozun scored the Monarchs’ first goal and his 10th of the season to tie the game at 1-1, 4:33 into the contest. Six minutes later, Jordan Nolan tallied his seventh of the campaign. Robert Czarnik, Dwight King and Marc-Andre Cliche had the assists.

But the advantage was short-lived.

Denis Hamel and Kevin Marshall scored late first period goals, and Eric Wellwood and Ben Holmstrom added second period strikes to send the game into its final 20 minutes with Manchester trailing 5-2. Manchester was outshot 13-6 in the middle period and 29-16 after two periods.

Manchester’s Thomas Hickey punched home a power play goal at 13:34 of the third, but the Monarchs were blanked the rest of the way by Phantom goalie Michael Leighton, who finished with 21 saves.

Monarchs netminder Martin Jones worked the net during the initial two periods and turned aside 24 of the 29 shots he faced. Jeff Zatkoff came on to play in the third, faced two shots and blocked both.

Both teams enjoyed four power plays and each scored once with the man advantage.

Manchester returns to the Queen City on Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. matinee against the Portland Pirates.

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