MANCHESTER, NH –
Center Marc-Andre Cliche
recorded two goals and two assists as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Springfield Falcons by a score of 7-2 Saturday evening at the Verizon Wireless Arena as the hometown team honored the original Manchester Monarchs of the 1970’s by wearing specialty throwback jerseys.
Manchester (16-8-1-1) recorded their 16th win of the season, remaining in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with 34 points. Springfield (12-12-0-1) loses their 12th contest of the season, placing them fifth in the Atlantic Division with 25 points.
“24 hours ago, we were the bug, and today we are the windshield,” joked Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Saturday’s victory. “Cliche had a great game and [center] Jordan Nolan
was also very productive.”
“[Right wing Justin Johnson] had about five minutes and 30 seconds of ice time, tops, and he had three points. He had a great game,” remarked Morris.
Center Andrei Loktionov
picked up the game-winning goal at 14:07 of the second period with a quick wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle. Defenseman Andrew Campbell
grabbed the puck at the Monarchs blueline and found Loktionov near the Monarchs bench. The second year center carried the puck into the Falcons zone, weighed his options and chose to snap a wrist shot that beat goaltender Gustaf Wesslau for his fourth goal of the season.
Falcons left wing Matt Calvert started the game off with a quick goal only 1:04 into the first period. Entering the offensive zone via the left point, Calvert skated in alone and side-stepped a Monarchs player. A soft wrister beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
inside the left post for the first marker of the game. Center Chris D’Alvise and defenseman John Moore recorded assists on Calvert’s goal.
Cliche scored his first of two goals at 6:56 of the first period. Left wing Justin Johnson skated into the Falcons zone along the right wing and cut to the hash marks. Johnson fired a shot on net and the rebound popped free to Cliche on the doorstep for his fourth tally of the season. Center Jordan Nolan
assisted on the goal that tied the game at 1-1.
Just 39 seconds into the second period, Cliche gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game with his second goal of the game. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov sent the puck to Loktionov in the slot who turned and skated around the left face-off circle toward the corner of the zone. Loktionov fed a pass to Cliche who was streaking in from the right point. Cliche connected with the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season which gave the Monarchs the 2-1 advantage.
The Monarchs kept the momentum rolling in the third period when center Oscar Moller scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 4:05. Defensemen Jake Muzzin
fought for the puck in the Monarchs zone and dished it to Moller in neutral territory. Moller took advantage of the breakaway and scored effortlessly going stick side to put the Monarchs up 4-1 at the beginning of the third period
At 6:37 of the final frame, Nolan picked up his second goal of the season. Johnson received a pass from Cliche in the slot and ripped a shot off the glass behind the cage. The puck bounced off the glass and into the crease where it hit off Nolan’s left skate and over the goal line.
Right wing Brandon Kozun
made it 6-1 for the Monarchs at 10:39 of the third stanza with his seventh tally of the season. Kozun skated down the left wing and dropped a pass back to Loktionov in the left face-off circle. Loktionov blasted a snap shot on net and the rebound bounced free and onto the stick of Kozun at the left doorstep for the goal. Left wing Bud Holloway
assisted on the tally.
Skating on the power play, the Falcons picked up their second goal of the game at 17:21 of the third period. Defenseman Cody Goloubef passed the puck from the left point to defenseman Grant Clitsome at the right point. Clitsome wound up for the slap shot that Jones got a piece of before the puck trickled over the goal line. Right wing Michael Blunden assisted on Springfield’s final goal of the game.
Johnson skated end-to-end and capitalized with his first AHL goal at 19:46 of the final period. Defenseman Thomas Hickey
passed the puck to Cliche deep in the Monarchs zone. Cliche sprung Johnson who skated down the right wing and beat Wesslau on his glove side with a wrist shot from the hash marks.
Jones (6-1-0) picked up his sixth win of the season, fourth consecutive victory, stopping 22-of-24 shots on net. Wesslau (2-4-0) took his fourth loss of the season with 26 saves on 33 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Springfield was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.Notables:
The Monarchs scored seven goals in one game for the second time this season…Goaltender Martin Jones
won his fourth consecutive game of the season…Center Oscar Moller is on a 10 game scoring streak with 13 points (6-7=13) dating back to November 14…Center Marc-Andre Cliche
’s four-point game (2-2=4) is the 26th time a Monarchs player has scored four points in one game.