MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs eight game home winning streak was snapped by a 4-1 defeat to the Hartford Wolf Pack in front of 9,273 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday night.
Manchester (22-12-6-1) is leading the pack in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Hartford (22-16-3-0) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 47 points.
The visiting Wolf Pack took the lead with a power play goal by right wing Ryan Callahan for his team leading 23rd goal of the season at 16:20 of the first period with Monarchs defenseman T.J. Kemp in the sin-bin for high sticking. Callahan received a pass from defenseman Ivan Baranka and then did the rest of the work by himself. Skating from the left face-off circle, Callahan carried the puck on his backhand and quickly shifted it to his forehand as he deaked around Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera for the tally. Left wing Nigel Dawes also earned an assist on the goal.
Hartford extended their lead to 2-0 with a fresh sheet of ice at 1:21 of the second frame. Kemp's second minor penalty of the game had the Wolf Pack capitalizing with their second power play goal of the night. Working the right point, defenseman Daniel Girardi received a tape-to-tape pass from Baranka. With a screen set up in front of the net, Girardi fired a laser beam over LaBarbera's glove hand, scoring top shelf. Callahan picked up an assist, his second point of the night, on Girardi's second tally of the season.
At 13:56 of the third period, the Monarchs got on the scoreboard. Defenseman Mike Weaver netted his first mark of the season. Right wing Mike Hoffman muscled a pass from the left boards towards the front of the net. Weaver, pinching in from the blueline on the right side, received the pass to bury the biscuit past the outstretched glove of netminder Stephen Valiquette. Left wing Matt Moulson earned an assist on the goal.
Callahan tallied his second of the night, Hartford's third power play goal, at 16:38 in the final stanza while Monarchs right wing Lauri Tukonen was serving his penalty for high sticking. Center Brandon Dubinsky gloved down the puck in the right face-off circle and made a pass to left wing Dane Byers who was camped below the end redline. Waiting patiently, Byers fed a pass to Callahan who put it in the net over LaBarbera's blocker.
With LaBarbera on the bench for the empty net and extra attacker, Dawes finished off the victory by backhanding in an empty net goal. Defenseman Dave Liffiton and center Jarkko Immonen earned assists on Dawes's eighth goal of the season.
LaBarbera collected 27 saves in the loss. Valiquette earned his 13th win by stopping 27-of-28 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Hartford was 3-for-7 with the man advantage.