SPRINGFIELD, MA – Center Justin Azevedo
, left wing Bud Holloway
and goaltender Jonathan Bernier
led the Manchester Monarchs over the Springfield Falcons, 4-1, at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
Manchester (30-17-2-5) remains in second place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points. Springfield (17-28-9-2) is in eighth place in the Atlantic Division with 45 points.
Only 54 seconds after his first goal, Azevedo tallied his second goal of the game and his seventh tally of the season to double the Monarchs lead to 2-0. Skating on the power play, defenseman David Kolomatis
collected the puck at the left point before sending a pass to Holloway in the left corner of the Falcons zone. Holloway surveyed his options and connected with Azevedo in the left face-off circle. The second year center snapped a shot that beat Springfield’s goaltender Devan Dubnyk at 5:54 of the opening period.
Just five minutes into the game, Azevedo picked up his fifth goal of the season to give Manchester a 1-0 lead. Center Tom Cavanagh gave a short pass to Holloway who carried the puck into the high slot before snapping a wrist shot toward the net. Azevedo was on the doorstep and the puck deflected off his skate and into the net for the early lead.
The Monarchs started off the second period with right wing Kevin Westgarth
’s ninth tally of the season at the 4:24 mark. Entering the Falcons zone, Westgarth picked up the loose puck, took two strides into the top of the right face-off circle and snapped a wrist shot into the net, beating Dubnyk on his blocker side. Center Marc-Andre Cliche
and left wing Dwight King
assisted on the goal that brought the score to 3-0.
Kolomatis scored his fourth goal of the season at 7:03 of the middle frame to give Manchester a 4-0 advantage. With Westgarth screen Dubnyk, Kolomatis blasted a shot from the center point that trickled through traffic and over the goal line. Holloway and Azevedo each picked up their third point of the night by assisting on the Monarchs final goal of the game.
Ending Bernier’s shutout bid, left wing Charles Linglet found the back of the net for his 13th goal of the season at 15:40 of the second period. Collecting a pass in the neutral zone from center Geoff Paukovich, Linglet walked into the Monarchs zone and ripped a wrist shot from just outside of the right circle that beat Bernier. Defenseman Dean Arsene assisted on Springfield’s lone goal of the game.
Bernier (22-13-5) earned his 22nd win of the season with 33 saves on 34 shots. Dubnyk (11-14-1) took his 14th loss of the season with 17 saves.
Manchester was 2-for-8 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester ended their longest losing streak of the season, three games, with tonight’s win…Center Justin Azevedo
collected his second consecutive three-point game (2-1=3)…Left wing Bud Holloway
also recorded his second consecutive three-point game (0-3=3)…Holloway’s three assists move him into the team lead in both assists (21) and points (15-21=36).