MANCHESTER, NH - The Manchester Monarchs could not overcome a three goal first period deficit and dropped their Home Opener, 4-3, as right wing Jordan Caron’s hat trick and the Providence Bruins at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (2-1-0-0) is tied with the St. John’s IceCaps (2-1-0-0) for first place in the Atlantic Division with four points each. Providence (1-2-0-0) is tied with the Portland Pirates for third in the Division with two points each.
“We had a few glitches there in the early going that really put us behind the eight ball,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “When you are down 3-0 after the first (period), it is not the ideal way to start your Home Opener. We really battled back in the second. Our shots (on goal) are pretty indicative of the chances we got. In the third, by then, the damage was done. We put a lot of pucks at their net and their goalie did a great job. We’ll try to iron out those kinks and see what we can do to make corrections.”
The Bruins took a 4-2 lead at 8:34 of the second period when Caron scored his third goal of the game. With the Bruins on the power play, Bruins center Carter Camper carried the puck into the Monarchs zone down the right wing. Camper skated down the center of the zone before wristing a shot in between the face-off circles. Camper’s shot ricocheted off of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones chest and produced a rebound in front of the net where Caron jumped on the loose puck. Caron flipped the puck past Jones for the eventual game-winning goal completing the hat trick.
Bruins center Ryan Spooner opened the scoring with a power play goal at 4:55 of the first period. Jones came out to meet a dumped-in puck behind his net and attempted to play it over to the left wing corner. The puck was intercepted by Bruins right wing Jamie Tardif who threw the puck between Jones’ legs to the front of the net. Spooner banged it home for his first goal of the season.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead at 8:01 of the first period when Caron tallied his first goal of the game and the season. The Monarchs defense could not keep a bouncing puck along the boards in the Bruins zone and Caron grabbed the loose puck with speed. Caron skated down the right wing on a two-on-one with center Christian Hanson. Caron faked a pass and wristed a shot high on the stick side of Jones.
The Bruins scored their third goal of the first period on the power play as Caron found the back of the net for the second time in the game at 16:17. Bruins left wing Chris Bourque played the puck along the left wing half wall back to defenseman David Warsofsky at the center point. Warsofsky fed Caron for the one-timer at the right wing face-off circle that gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
The Monarchs scored to cut the deficit to 3-1 with a goal by center Robbie Czarnik. Right wing Brandon Kozun broke down the left wing and gained the Bruins zone. Kozun skated down the center of the neutral zone before feeding center Andrei Loktionov who was skating down the left wing. Loktionov fired a pass ahead for Czarnik at the left door step of Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg. Czarnik tipped in the puck for his first goal of the year.
The Monarchs brought the game to a 3-2 score at 4:47 of the second period. A clearing attempt was kept in the Bruins zone by center Andy Andreoff who had the puck deflect off his body toward the top of the right wing face-off circle. Right wing Stefan Legein picked up the puck and carried it into the right wing corner. Legein fired a bad angle shot that was deflected by left wing Richard Clune for his first goal of the season.
The Monarchs pulled within one again when right wing Tyler Toffoli scored on the power play at 18:53. Defenseman Slava Voynov ripped a shot from the point that hit Toffoli in the chest. Toffoli found the loose puck at his feet at the left doorstep of Svedberg and roofed a shot over the outstretched netminder for his first goal of the season and brought the final score to 4-3.
Jones (2-1-0) took his first loss of the season stopping 13-of-17 shots. Svedberg (1-0-0) earned his first win of the season making 30 saves on 33shots.
Manchester went 1-for-6 on the power play. The Bruins were 3-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs all-time Home Opening Night record is 7-5-0-0…Right wing Brandon Kozun collected his third assist in as many games…Bruins right wing Jordan Caron’s hat trick was the 19th hat trick against the Monarchs in team history…The last hat trick against Manchester was recorded by center David Ullstrom on February 20, 2011 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Monarchs host the second game of their Home Opening Weekend, presented by AutoFair, on Saturday, October 20 against the Portland Pirates in the first ever VIP Cup match-up at 7:00 p.m. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIRAM.com and at ManchesterMonarchs.com