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Monarchs fall to Swamp Rabbits, 4-3, in suspended game

By MATT JOHNSON
Manchester Monarchs

December 16. 2017 12:41AM



GREENVILLE, S.C. – It took almost 24 hours, but the Monarchs fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 4-3, Friday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, when they completed the suspended game from Thursday night, which had been suspended due to poor ice conditions.

The Monarchs (15-9-1-1) dropped their first game of the season to the Swamp Rabbits (14-9-2-0) at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The Monarchs jumped out to an early lead at 5:38 of the first period on the 3rd goal of the season by Matt Buckles. Matt Leitner brought the puck into the offensive zone along the left wing, where he sent a pass to Buckles in the middle of the slot as he made his way toward goal. Buckles held the puck until he reached the bottom of the right circle and took a shot that bounced off the stick of Greenville defenseman Austin McKay and into the net, for a 1-0 Monarchs lead.

Manchester added on to the lead at 19:24 of the first period on the 11th goal of the season by Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman. Sam Kurker sent a breakout pass to Lavallee-Smotherman along the left wing, where Smotherman skated to the top of the circle and shot the puck through the five-hole of Swamp Rabbits goaltender, Brandon Halverson, to give Manchester a 2-0 lead.

Greenville answered back when Allan McPherson scored his 10th goal of the season by Allan McPherson at 5:14 of the second period. McPherson skated in over the blue line on a 2-on-0, took the puck to the net and lifted a shot over the blocker of Monarchs goaltender, Charles Williams, and into the top of the goal to cut the Manchester lead to 2-1.

The Swamp Rabbits tied things up just moments later at 7:35 of the second period on the 14th goal of the season for Branden Troock. After a shot from the right circle by McPherson popped over the goal and behind the net, Brenden Kotyk retrieved the puck and sent a pass in front of the net connecting with Troock. Troock one-timed the shot between the legs of Williams and tied the score, 2-2.

Greenville took its first lead of the game at 1:53 of the third period on the second goal of the game for McPherson. Troock stole the puck from Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis along the left boards and circled behind the Monarchs net, where he fed a pass to McPherson who wristed a shot over the blocker of Williams, to make it, 3-2, Greenville.

The Swamp Rabbits added an insurance goal at 6:42 of the third period when Joe Houk scored his 7th goal of the season. Joe Basaraba collected the puck along the right boards and skated to the hash marks where he centered a pass to Houk at the top of the right circle. Houk moved to the slot and sniped a shot over the shoulder of Williams, to push the Swamp Rabbits lead to 4-2.

The Monarchs cut the lead to 4-3, when Mikkel Aagaard netted his 2nd goal of the season. As the suspended game resumed, the Monarchs found themselves on the power play and connected quickly. After heavy pressure in the offensive zone, Sam Kurker sent the puck on net that deflected off the right skate of Aagaard and past the right leg of Halverson to make it a one-goal game.

The Monarchs pulled Williams with 1:35 remaining in the contest, and despite sustained puck possession and shots, the Monarchs couldn’t tie the score.

NOTES:

Colton Saucerman now has assists in five of his last six games (8a).

The game was suspended with 5:45 remaining in the 3rd period.


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