SPRINGFIELD, MA –
Goaltender Danny Taylor halted 38-of-41 shots against his former team as he backstopped the Springfield Falcons to a 5-3 victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (3-2-0-0) is tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with the St. John’s IceCaps (3-1-0-0) with six points each. Springfield (3-2-0-0) is tied for first place in the Northeast Division with six points.
“For fifteen minutes, we totally dominated the game,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Three costly offensive blueline turnovers changed the entire momentum we had established. Mental fatigue and careless puck management caused us to stray from the things we had done so well in our two previous outings. We want our guys to take ownership and be more responsible and accountable. Three (games) in three nights isn’t easy but it sure demands you train yourself to be consistent. This afternoon was not what we envisioned. Hard lessons like this one are a bitter pill to swallow.”
Off the stick of defenseman Dalton Prout, the Falcons took a 4-2 lead at 16:36 of the second period. With the Falcons gaining the Monarchs zone, left wing Nick Drazenovic slide the puck back to defenseman Cody Goloubef on the near side. Goloubef executed a tape-to-tape pass to Prout along the blueline. At the left point, Prout launched a one-timer that beat Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
for his first tally of the season. Center Ryan Russell screened Zatkoff in front of the net on the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring when defenseman Jake Muzzin
blasted a one-timer from the top of the right face-off circle. Right wing Jordan Nolan
found Muzzin from behind the net. Muzzin settled the puck and found his spot in the top right corner of the net at 8:10 of the first period. Center Andrei Loktionov
picked up an assist on Muzzin’s power play tally and second goal of the season.
Loktionov tallied his second goal of the season, a power play tally, to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead at 16:42 of the first period. After defenseman Patrick Mullen
got his pass blocked from the left point, center Linden Vey
picked up the loose puck and found Loktionov across the ice at the base of the right face-off circle. Loktionov wristed a shot top-shelf on Taylor.
The Falcons cut the lead to 2-1 with a point blank shot by left wing Dane Byers at 17:54 of the first period. With Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell
stickless, Byers patiently dangled the puck in front of the net before roofing a wrist shot over the glove side of Zatkoff. Byers’ third goal of the season came on the power play and was assisted by Goloubef and Drazenovic who finished with two assists each in the contest.
Thirty-eight seconds later, the Falcons knotted the score up at two when center Martin St. Pierre fired a shot that deflected off a Monarch defenseman and fluttered in the net high on the stick side. St. Pierre’s second goal of the season was assisted by assisted by left wing Wade Macleod and right wing Cam Atkinson at 18:32 of the first period.
The Falcons continued to light the lamp with their third goal of the game at 3:46 of the second period with a shorthanded goal by Russell. Skating on a partial breakaway, Russell stickhandled the puck away from Muzzin and wristed a shot on net to beat Zatkoff on the far side. Center Ryan Garlock sprung Russell on the play.
The Monarchs were able to cut the two-goal deficit to 4-3 in the third period when Loktionov slammed in a rebound. Monarchs defenseman Thomas Hickey
passed the puck to Campbell who released a shot from along the left wing boards. The shot bounced through traffic and popped out on the far side for Loktionov to punch it through for his third goal of the season.
Russell added an insurance goal on a breakaway halfway through the final period. Russell picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone after two Monarch players lost their footing. Russell skated in on Zatkoff with defenseman David Kolomatis
chasing him. The center flipped a shot on net high on the stick side that eluded the netminder. The goal gave the Falcons a 5-3 advantage and was Russell’s second goal of the game, third tally of the season.
Zatkoff (0-1-0) picked up his first loss of the season stopping 22-of-27 shots. Taylor (1-0-0) picked up his first victory of the season making 38 saves on 41 shots.
The Monarchs went 2-for-7 on the power play. Springfield was 1-for-6 with the man-advantage. Notables:
The Monarchs are in the midst of a six-game road trip…Manchester is 2-1-0-0 on the road trip…Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
made his first start of the season, recording the loss…Falcons goaltender Danny Taylor earned the victory against his former club…The Monarchs scored two power play goals in a game for the first time this season…Center Andrei Loktionov
’s three points (2-1=3) gives him the team lead in points with eight points (3-5=8) in five games this season.