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Kane Too Sweet For Monarchs

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Boyd Kane scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Manchester Monarchs dropped a 2-1 shootout loss to the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Manchester (31-16-1-5, 68 points) received their fifth shootout loss of the season, but remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 68 points.  Hershey (32-14-1-3, 68 points) remains in second place in the East Division with 68 points.

“We had a lot of chances,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Wednesday night’s defeat at the hands of Hershey.  “When you go up 4-on-3 in overtime and you get the chances that we had, you’ve got to score.  We hit a post or two [on offense], and that one against ‘Zats’ squeaked right passed the post.”

“I think we’ve grown since the last time we’ve seen them,” said Morris.  “It was a squandered opportunity [to win].”

In the fifth round of the shootout, Kane skated down the slot toward the right post, flicking the puck past Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff to lift Hershey to victory.  Kane was the fifth and final skater in the shootout round and was the only player to record a goal in the shootout for both teams.  Zatkoff stopped right wing Francois Bouchard, center Keith Aucoin, left wing Kyle Greentree and right wing Brian Willsie.  Bears netminder Todd Ford stopped all five Monarchs shooters, center Oscar Moller, center Justin Azevedo, center Jordan Nolan, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov and right wing Brandon Kozun.

Hershey defenseman Patrick McNeill scored his second goal of the season at 7:56 of the first period.  Aucoin, after stumbling in the trapezoid behind Zatkoff, passed the puck from behind the net to Kane, positioned within the left face-off circle.  Kane fired a blast on Zatkoff that was turned aside, with the rebound spilling out into the crease.  McNeill crashed in from the blueline, forcing the puck past crease traffic for the first goal of the game.

Left wing Bud Holloway scored his 17th goal of the season at 16:19 of the second period, tying the score at one apiece.  Left wing Dwight King passed the puck down into the left wing corner to Azevedo.  Taking several strides, Azevedo passed the puck up to Holloway, who was skating across the left wing circle.  Holloway took a wrist shot that beat Ford top shelf for the equalizing tally.

Zatkoff (12-11-4) draws his fourth shootout loss of the season, stopping 25-of-26 shots on goal in both the regulation and the overtime.  Zatkoff only allowed one goal on five opportunities in the shootout.  Ford (4-0-1) collected his fourth win of the season, his second win against Manchester, halting 28-of-29 shots on goal in regulation and the overtime period and silencing all five Monarchs shooters in the shootout.

Manchester was 0-for-4 on the power play.  Hershey was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Center Justin Azevedo collected his third assist against the Hershey Bears on left wing Bud Holloway’s second period goal, leading the team in that category against their opponents from Hershey…Holloway scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season…With two shots on goal in tonight’s game, left wing David Meckler eclipses center Noah Clarke, becoming the Monarchs all-time leader in shots with 670…Manchester has held their opponent scoreless on the power play in four of their last six games (19-for-21 on the penalty kill over that span), dating back to January 26 against Norfolk…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has held the opponent to under two goals scored in each of his last three appearances.
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