action:article | category:SPORTS0702 | adString:SPORTS0702 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

April 14. 2013 8:10PM

Allen Lessels' On Hockey: Fan Favorite Kozun lifts Manchester to win


Manchester Monarchs Brandon Kozun is presented with the 2012-13 Fan Favorite Award by New Hampshire Union Leader writer Alan Lessels before playing the Worcester Sharks hosted at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester Sunday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER -- THAT'S WHAT Fan Favorites do. That's what goal scorers do.

Brandon Kozun started his day collecting the New Hampshire Union Leader's Fan Favorite trophy in pre-game ceremonies on Manchester Monarchs Fan Appreciation Day at Verizon Wireless Arena in front of a crowd announced at 9,019.

He and the Monarchs ended it celebrating a 3-0 win over the Worcester Sharks.

Martin Jones tossed a 32-save shutout and Kozun scored the game-winning goal just before the halfway point of the third period.

Defenseman Vincent LoVerde put a puck on net and it popped up and Kozun, camped just outside the crease of Worcester goalie Alex Stalock, waited patiently for it.

"It was spinning pretty hard and I was trying to wait for it to settle down a bit," Kozun said. "I didn't think the goalie knew where it was. I kind of figured I had a little bit of time."

Then he whacked it in for his team-leading 26th goal of the year. He also has 30 assists.

"Koz was in the right place at the right time," said coach Mark Morris. "Goal scorers have a way of knowing how to do that."

The Monarchs matched their season-high four-game win streak with the triumph, finished off a perfect weekend at home and kept the pressure on in the quest for an American Hockey League playoff berth.

"We're halfway there," Morris said. "We figured we needed to run the table to get in and it's pretty true."

The Monarchs went into the weekend with a half dozen games to play in the regular season.

They were perfect in the first three with wins over Connecticut, 3-1, on Friday and Hershey, 4-3, on Saturday, leading into Sunday and their last regular-season home game.

They hit the road for the final three, at Binghamton on Friday, Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and Hershey on Sunday.

The Monarchs are 35-31-3-4 and have climbed to within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot. They are tied with Hershey for ninth place with 77 points.

Norfolk and Connecticut both lost on Sunday and they are tied for seventh place with 79 points each. Portland, which lost to Hershey on Sunday, sits in sixth with 81 points.

"We'll do a little scoreboard watching," Jones said. "But all we can do is go win our games and see where we end up."

Jones made 15 of his saves in the third period.

"I thought Jonesy was great in net," Morris said. "We kept the pressure on them in the third period. They played hard, but we played harder."

The Sharks were certainly not going away as the game wound down.

They went on the power play when Brian O'Neill was called for tripping with 2:47 to play.

Manchester forward Tanner Pearson stole the puck with a great effort near the Monarch blue line and raced to the Worcester end on a two-on-one and set Linden Vey up perfectly in front. Vey, another goal scorer, knocked in his 21st of the season.

"That was a bit of a nail in the coffin," Kozun said. "It was huge."

Marc-Andre Cliche scored another short-handed goal, into an empty Worcester net, with 57 seconds left.

Soon, the Monarchs had their fourth straight win and before too long were taking their shirts off their backs and presenting them to raffle winners to close out another Fan Appreciation Day and a home season.

The appreciation, by the way, goes both ways.

"It's an honor," Kozun said of his Fan Favorite award. "It's pretty cool that the fans appreciate me and I appreciate that. I've had a couple of good years here and it's definitely an honor, that's for sure."

______
Others honored before the game along with Kozun, who was picked by a fan vote, were Vey with the Ace Bailey Most Valuable Player Award as voted by Monarch players and coaches, Andy Andreoff with the Mark Bavis Unsung Hero Award as voted by the players, Andrew Campbell with the Monarchs Community Service Award as voted by the Monarchs Care Foundation and Vey with the Monarchs Booster Club Player of the Year Award as voted by the Booster Club.

alessels@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Chowder Potís entertainment halted by bloody baseball rivalry and liquor liability

Heavyweight great 'Gentleman' Gerry Cooney on dramatic career and the hardest comeback of all

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!