Late goal hands Monarchs a win
MANCHESTER - Defenseman Nick Deslauriers scored late in the third period as the Manchester Monarchs extended their point streak to nine games (7-0-1-1) with a 3-2 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (29-24-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 65 points. The Sound Tigers (25-25-5-4) are in fourth place in the Northeast division with 59 points.
The win puts Manchester into a tie for seventh overall in the Eastern Conference, which is a playoff position.
"I thought our guys played hard all game," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "We had a sluggish start but got out in front and then we weathered the storm by Bridgeport. They tied it up and then we had a nice goal by (Nick) Deslauriers which proved to be the difference. Martin Jones had another stellar game for us between the pipes."
Deslauriers broke a tie game at 18:14 of the third period. Linden Vey fed Andy Andreoff in the slot. Andreoff played the puck back to Deslauriers at the right point. Deslauriers launched a one-timer for his fourth tally of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a goal by right wing Anthony Stewart at 12:07 of the second period. Left wing Colton Yellow Horn carried the puck down the left wing and into the Bridgeport zone. Yellow Horn skated in to the left wing face-off circle before firing a centering pass for Stewart in front of the net. Stewart redirected the pass in front of the net for the goal. Stewart's fourth goal of the season was also assisted by defenseman David Kolomatis.
The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead with a goal by Kolomatis at 1:21 of the third period. Left wing David Meckler played the puck to Vey from behind the Bridgeport net. Vey passed to Kolomatis at the left point where he took a slap shot that went through traffic and into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Defenseman Jordan Hill scored the first of two third period goals for Bridgeport at 9:43 of the third period making the score 2-1. Right wing Sean Backman fed left wing Nino Niederreiter in the right wing face-off circle. Niederreiter took a shot on the backhand that deflected off Jones and behind the net. Hill grabbed the bouncing puck and squeezed it under the arm of Jones for his third goal of the season.
Left wing Mike Halmo tied the game at 2-2 for Bridgeport at 14:59 of the third period. Defenseman Matt Donovan passed the puck off to center Johan Sundstrom inside the right wing face-off circle. Sundstrom took a shot that produced a rebound in front of the net. Halmo grabbed the rebound and buried it into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Jones (19-19-4) earned his 19th victory of the season stopping 29-of-31 shots. Sound Tigers netminder Rick DiPietro (3-3-0) took his third loss of the season making 23 saves on 26 shots.
Manchester went 2-for-8 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones became the franchise's all-time winning goaltender with 62 victories . Monarchs center Linden Vey is on a three-game assist and point streak (0-6-6).
The Monarchs will travel to play the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center Saturday night at 7.