MANCHESTER, NH - Jordan Nolan and Andrei Loktionov lit the lamp for Manchester, and the Sound Tigers were unable to answer, losing 2-0 to the Monarchs at Sullivan Arena to conclude the preseason schedule. With the loss, Bridgeport drops to 1-1-0-0 in exhibition play, while the win gives Manchester a 1-0-0-0 preseason record.
The first period ended in a scoreless tie, despite several opportunities on the man advantage for each team. Three times during the opening frame, a Manchester power play ended when one of its players went to the penalty box, creating a 4-on-4 situation.
The Monarchs best opportunity of the opening frame came at even strength when Andrei Loktionov made a cross-ice pass to Brandon Kozun in the circle to Kevin Poulin’s right. Kozun fired a one-timer but Poulin was equal to the task, dropping down low to make one of his 39 saves and end the threat.
The Sound Tigers almost took the lead near the tail end of a man advantage with five minutes remaining in the first period. Travis Hamonic made a pass from the right point to Kirill Kabanov in the slot, but the forward was unable to convert the chance as the puck bounced wide of Manchester goalie Martin Jones.
Bridgeport mustered a few more offensive chances during the second period, but the stanza was characterized by several fights that broke out in the second half of the frame. Mike Halmo and Manchester forward Andy Andreoff dropped the gloves at 11:20. Brett Gallant and David Kolomatis followed suit four minutes later, and at 17:18, Marc Cantin and Richard Clune squared off in a bout.
With the game still scoreless after two periods, Nolan skated in down the right side and lifted a wrist shot over Poulin just 28 seconds into the third, giving the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Loktionov earned the lone assist on the play.
Loktionov put Manchester up 2-0 a few minutes later after Kolomatis’ shot rebounded onto his stick at the bottom of the left circle. The Monarchs center beat a sprawled out Poulin top-shelf. Kozun also assisted on the goal.
Nathan McIver and Nolan squared off in the fourth fight of the night seven minutes into the third, trading several punches until they were escorted to their respective penalty boxes.
Halmo had an opportunity in the middle of the period after a bouncing puck found his stick in the slot. Manchester goalie Jean-Francois Berube, who entered midway through the game in relief of Jones, slid across to make the save.
The Sound Tigers took a holding penalty with 2:37 remaining, putting a dent in any comeback effort.
The Sound Tigers head back to Long Island where they will continue Training Camp. The team’s first regular season game is on the road Friday, Oct. 12 against the Connecticut Whale at 7:30 p.m. The home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 against the Providence Bruins at 7 p.m.
Persson – Ullstrom - McDonald
Niederreiter – Nelson – Kabanov
Halmo – Sundstrom – Backman
Gallant – Clark – MacKay
Ness – Landry
Donovan - Hamonic
McIver – Cantin