Monarchs thumped by Nailers, 7-4By MATT JOHNSON
January 05. 2018 11:45PM
WHEELING, W.V. – The Manchester Monarchs allowed four goals in the second period, and fell to the Wheeling Nailers, 7-4 Friday night at the WesBanco Arena.
The Monarchs (21-11-2-1) dropped their first meeting of the season against the Nailers (19-14-1-2), but remain atop the North Division by six points.
The Monarchs opened the scoring when Keegan Iverson scored for the second-consecutive night, his 2nd of the year, at 5:40 into the first period. Zac Lynch brought the puck down the left side on a two-man rush and passed it over to Iverson in the middle of the ice. Iverson grabbed the puck and poked it past the glove of Wheeling goaltender, Adam Morrison, to put the Monarchs up, 1-0.
Wheeling tied it up 16:44 into the first when Riley Bourbonnais scored his 8th goal of the season. Zach Tolkinen cleared the puck out of the zone up to Colin Murray in the neutral zone, who tipped the puck up to Bourbonnais. Bourbonnais sped past the Monarchs defense and scored five-hole through Monarchs goaltender, Charles Williams, to knot the score, 1-1.
Bourbonnais grabbed the lead for the Nailers when he scored on the power play for his 2nd goal of the night, 19:13 into the first period. Jaynen Rissling brought the puck into the zone to the right of Williams and left it for Bourbonnais to pick up. Bourbonnais took a shot from the top of the circle and beat Williams, glove side, to make it a 2-1 wheeling lead.
Chris Francis tallied his 4th goal of the season just :17 seconds into the second period to put the Nailers up, 3-1. Kevin Schulze passed the puck along the blue line to Rissling who took a shot from the top of the right circle. Francis was able to get his stick in the shooting lane and tipped the puck past Williams with a redirect.
Bourbonnais did it again and scored his third of the night at 7:35 into the second period, which gave the Nailers a 4-1 lead. Troy Josephs blocked a shot at his own blue line that Bourbonnais picked up, skated it down towards Williams and fired a wrister past the blocker of Williams to complete his hat trick.
Wheeling scored again when Dylan Zink scored his 3rd goal of the season 10:23 into the second to make the score 5-1. Bourbonnais started the tic-tac-toe scoring play and sent the puck to Chris Francis to the right of Williams. Francis then passed the puck across the slot to Zink who took a shot and snuck it into the back of the net.
The Nailers kept the goals coming when Nick Sorkin tallied his 4th goal of the season, 16:08 into the middle frame on the power play. Francis passed the puck from the right hash marks across the slot to Cam Brown who took a shot that was blocked by a Monarchs stick. Sorkin picked up the loose puck right outside the crease and buried it past new Monarchs goaltender, Branden Komm, to make it a 6-1 game.
Matt Schmalz scored his 10th goal of the season at 19:01 of the second period to make the score 6-2. In the high slot of the Monarchs zone, Justin Agosta picked up a Nailers attempt to clear the puck and made a long pass to Jordan LaValle-Smotherman back in the Nailers zone. Smotherman made a clean pass across the slot to Schmalz to the left of Morrison, where he tapped the puck into the back of an open net.
The Monarchs cut the lead in half when Michael Doherty scored his 9th goal of the season at 6:02 of the third period. Mikkel Aagaard fed the puck back to Agosta at the blue line of the Monarchs zone. Agosta carried the puck through the neutral zone, passed multiple Nailers defensemen and took a backhanded shot outside the crease to the right of Morrison. The shot ricocheted off Doherty and found its way to the back of the net, to make the score, 6-3.
The Monarchs inched closer when Matt Buckles made it 6-4 when he scored his 5th goal of the season at 15:43 of the third period. Martin Nemcik took control of the puck off the face-off to the left of Morrison and passed the puck to Agosta on the blue line who got a shot off. Buckles was able to tip the puck and beat Morrison to make it a two-goal deficit.
The Monarchs pulled their goalie 18:40 in the third and Francis scored his 2nd of the night immediately after. Francis cleared the puck all the way down the ice from the top of the right circle in his defensive zone and into the empty net.
Riley Bourbonnais recorded the first hat trick against the Monarchs this season.
Justin Agosta recorded three assists.
Jonathan Racine returned to the Monarchs lineup.
Branden Komm replaced Charles Williams in net at 10:23 of the second period.