Monarchs Bear Down
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs fell down 3-0 before scoring five unanswered goals before defeating the Hershey Bears, 6-4, on the third annual Faith and Family night at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (30-27-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points. Hershey (30-25-3-5) is in fourth place in the East division with 69 points.
“We played well in the first, but we were still down two,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The energy and effort was evident throughout the game. We stayed with it and were able to beat a good team tonight. We had contributions from every line and defensive pairings. We played hard and were able to pull out two big points.”
Center Linden Vey scored to put the Monarchs in the lead for good at 5-3 at 14:48 into the third period. Right wing Brian O’Neill gained control of the puck in the right wing corner and protected the puck from a defender as he brought it around the back of the net. O’Neill played the puck out to Vey at the left point who gained control of the puck and skated to between the top of the face-off circles before loading up a slap shot that beat goaltender Philipp Grubauer high stick side for his 16th goal of the season.
Hershey opened up the scoring at 16:17 in the first period with a power play goal from center Ryan Potulny. From the right wing half-wall, center Jeff Taffe played the puck to center Casey Wellman at the left point. Wellman threaded a pass through traffic to Potulny who was waiting on the right doorstep to tap it into the back of the net on the back door for his 15th goal of the season.
The Bears took a 2-0 lead with a goal by left wing Boyd Kane at 19:49 in the first period. Defenseman Cameron Shilling took a slap shot from the left point. The shot produced a rebound on the left doorstep where Wellman attempted to poke the puck through the pads of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones who denied it. Kane managed to jam a bouncing puck past Jones for his 13th goal of the season.
The Bears extended the lead to 3-0 at 4:13 into the second period with Potulny’s second goal of the game. Wellman won a race for the puck in between the top of the face-off circles. Wellman played the puck to Kane on the left wing half wall. Kane flipped the puck to an open Polutny on the right wing face-off dot for a one-time that beat Jones for his 16th goal of the season.
The Monarchs scored their first goal of the game with a tally from center Andy Andreoff at 6:16 of the second period. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde kept the puck in at the right point and played the puck to center Robbie Czarnik down the half-wall. Czarnik chipped the puck into the right wing corner below the goal line for Andreoff who walked the puck out to the bottom of the face-off circle and wristed a shot high over the left shoulder of Grubauer.
Left wing Colton Yellow Horn cut the deficit to 3-2 with a goal at 9:46 of the second period. Right wing Brandon Kozun beat out two Hershey defenders for a loose puck at the top of the right wing face-off circle. After Kozun drew both Bears defensemen, he spun through a pass behind his back to Yellow Horn in the slot. Yellow Horn buried the puck past an out of position Grubauer for his fifth goal of the season.
The Monarchs tied the game at 3-3 with less than one second left in the second period with a goal from center Jordan Weal. Defenseman Bryan Rodney supplied a pass from the left point to fellow defenseman Nick Deslauriers at the center point where he let a wrist shot go with a little more than two seconds remaining in the period. The shot went wide of the net and hit the end boards where Weal corralled it. Weal quickly banked a shot off the leg of Grubauer for his 11th goal of the season.
The Monarchs pulled ahead for the first time at 4-3 with a goal from Yellow Horn at 13:37 of the second period. Kozun gained the Bears zone on the right wing and skated into the right wing face-off circle before spinning back and finding a Weal in the left wing face-off circle. Weal attempted a wrist shot that was deflected up over Yellow Horn’s head in the slot. Yellow Horn waited for the puck to drop below his shoulder before swatting the puck out of the air and bouncing it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Center Linden Vey scored to put the Monarchs in the lead for good at 5-3 at 14:48 into the third period. Right wing Brian O’Neill gained control of the puck in the right wing corner and protected the puck from a defender as he brought it around the back of the net. O’Neill played the puck out to Vey at the left point who gained control of the puck and skated to between the top of the face-off circles before loading up a slap shot that beat Grubauer high stick side for his 16th goal of the season.
Bears center Peter Leblanc cut the Monarchs lead to 5-4 with a goal at 16:03 of the third period. Defenseman Garrett Stafford let a slap shot go from the center point that produced a rebound on the right doorstep. Left wing Ryan Stoa was there to put back the rebound that deflected off bodies in front of the net. LeBlanc grabbed the loose puck and jammed it home for his eighth goal of the season.
Vey finished the scoring in the game with an empty net goal at 19:55 of the final period. Vey intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and skated to an open area before firing a shot into the open cage for his 17th goal of the season.
Jones (20-21-4) earned his 20th victory of the season stopping 26-of-30 shots. Grubauer (10-6-2) took his sixth loss of the season making 23 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-1 on the power play. Hershey was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with the top eight team making the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…Manchester trails the eighth place team (Hershey Bears) by two standings points...Monarchs center Linden Vey tallied his 100th professional point (36-64=100) with an empty net goal in the game.
The Monarchs will host the St. John’s IceCaps at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.