Monarchs in high gear in preseason exhibition win
Manchester's Nikolay Prokhorkin puts a shot on Portland's Mark Visentin during second period action of Monday's exhibition game in Salem. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
SALEM — The Manchester Monarchs closed their preseason slate with a bang, routing Portland 7-1 in front of an estimated 300 fans at ICEnter Monday afternoon.
Manchester got goals from seven different players and went 5-11 on the power play.
“We saw lots of great things,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “The execution of our systems, unselfish play, we played as a team and the results indicate that.”
Manchester struck first at 14:43 of the first period when Linden Vey scored a power-play goal. Tyler Toffoli stole the puck in front of the Portland net and got off a shot that was saved by Mark Visentin, but Vey poked the rebound in.
Manchester extended to a 2-0 lead at 4:50 of the second period on a one-timer from Toffoli off a Slava Voynov feed from behind the net. A sharp Jordan Weal wrist shot made it 3-0 during a four-on-four at 10:45.
Defenseman David Kolomatis pushed the lead to 4-0 with a power-play goal at 11:01, driving a slap shot home as the puck came to him in the right circle off a goal-mouth scramble.
Andy Andreoff scored the final goal of the second period, this time on a five-on-three power play. Voynov made a slap-pass from the high point that Andreoff tipped in from the low left circle.
The four-goal explosion is an indication of what might be in store for the Monarchs this season as they adapt to the higher tempo, attacking style of the parent club Los Angeles Kings.
“We’ve got a lot of skill on this team and I think the guys are starting to see the fruits of their labor for executing the way we’ve been practicing,” Morris said. “I think the guys have been quick studies of the instruction that we’ve received through the Kings’ staff.”
Voynov made it 6-0 at 7:05 of the third period, drilling home a slap shot during another power play chance. Brandon Kozun added a wraparound goal at 11:57 (yet again on the power play) for the 7-0 lead.
Portland spoiled Monarchs goalie Martin Jones’ shutout bid with a goal at 14:54. Jones stopped Evan Bloodoff’s breakaway bid but Darian Dziurzynski pushed the rebound through to account for the 7-1 final.
The Monarchs closed the preseason with a 3-0 record and will open the real deal on Friday at Providence.
“I think the rust is off now. We don’t play games in the summer, we just play three-on-three and things like that and do more cardio stuff,” said Monarchs defenseman Nick Deslauriers. “It felt good to have three games and play and hit. I can’t wait to open the season.”