MANCHESTER, NH – A power play goal at 11:35 of the third period allowed the Norfolk Admirals to edge the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in front of 9,539 fans on Tuesday night.
Manchester (34-20-2-4, 74 points) is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Norfolk (31-21-2-4, 68 points) is in third place in the East Division.
The Admirals jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals by right wing Matt Keith and defenseman Brandon Rogers. At 5:52 of the first period, center Jason Morgan collected the puck behind the Monarchs net and fed it to Keith on the doorstep of Manchester goaltender Adam Hauser. Keith jammed the puck past Hauser for his 18th goal of the season.
Rogers, a native of Rochester, New Hampshire, scored his first goal of the season at 2:45 of the middle frame. Right wing Eric Miloche fired a shot at Hauser who made the save but the rebound bounced free. Rogers trailed Miloche and picked up the rebound for the score. Morgan earned his second assist of the game on the play. Rogers is the second New Hampshire native to score his first professional goal in the Verizon Wireless Arena. Nashua's center Jeff Giuliano scored his first pro goal for the Monarchs on November 9, 2002.
Monarchs center Matt Ryan cut the Admirals lead in half at the 4:09 mark of the second period. Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov blasted a shot from the right point and Ryan was waiting at the right post to pick up the rebound and stuff it past goaltender Corey Crawford for his ninth tally of the season. Defenseman Richard Seeley assisted on the Monarchs first goal of the game to bring the score to 2-1.
Left wing Jeff Tambellini tied the game at 2-2 with his 25th goal of the season on the 5-on-3 power play at 9:39 of the second stanza. Tambellini and defenseman Mark Ardelan played catch with the puck as they passed it back and forth until Tambellini sent a one-timer booming through the air and crashing into the back of the net to even the score. Right wing Lauri Tukonen assisted on the goal.
The Admirals took the lead at 11:35 of the final period as Keith scored a power play goal with right wing Brad Smyth sitting in the box serving a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Center Martin St. Pierre sent the puck from behind the net to Keith at the left post who flipped it past Hauser on the blocker side. Right wing Shawn Thornton also assisted on the game-winning goal.
Hauser (17-11-2) stopped 33 shots in the loss. Crawford (19-16-1) earned his 19th win of the season with 30 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-6 on the power play. Norfolk was 1-for-11 with the man advantage.