MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Peter Mannino made his first start of the season and lead the Manchester Monarchs to victory by defeating the St. John’s IceCaps, 4-1, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.
Manchester (6-2-0-1) leads the Atlantic Division with 13 points. St. John’s (5-7-0-0) is tied with the Worcester Sharks (4-4-1-1) for second place in the Division with 10 points.
“I thought we were really good on the power play again tonight,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We got a lot of contributions from various guys in the line-up. We kind of lost our way there in the second period with some penalty issues but then we bounced back in the third (period) and saw some great efforts. I thought Peter Mannino did a nice job in the net. The five-on-three kill was huge and credit the penalty killers and the goaltender for keeping us a float when we were in the box and then we seemed to bounce back in the third and take control of the game again.”
The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead on the power play at 13:47 in the first period with a deflection goal by right wing Brandon Kozun. Defenseman Thomas Hickey fed defenseman Nick Deslauriers from the left point to the right point for a one-timer. Deslauriers’ slap shot found its way through traffic where Kozun redirected the shot from the left doorstep for his third goal of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a five-on-three power play goal at 12:23 of the first period from defenseman Slava Voynov. Defenseman Jake Muzzin played the puck from the left point over to Voynov in the center point who then slid the puck over to center Linden Vey on the right wing half wall. Vey passed the puck back over to Voynov for a one-timer that beat goaltender Mark Dekanich low on the glove side for his third goal of the year.
Kozun scored his second power play goal of the game at 18:22 in the second period giving the Monarchs a 3-0 lead. Deslauriers took a pass at the right point from Hickey before he played the puck to left wing Dwight King along the right wing half wall. King fired a saucer pass across the ice to Kozun who was waiting inside the left wing face-off circle. Kozun wristed the shot five-hole for his fourth goal of the season.
The IceCaps got on the board when center Alex Burmistrov scored his second goal of the year at 18:46 of the third period. Defenseman David Meech wrestled the puck out of a cluster of players in the left wing corner and passed it to defenseman Paul Potsma at the left point. Potsma slid the puck over to Burmistrov on the right point who fired a shot that deflected off of a Monarchs defenseman’s stick and found the back of the net ending Mannino’s shutout bid.
Right wing Tyler Toffoli finished the scoring with an empty net goal with 54 seconds left to play. Toffoli accepted a neutral zone pass from King at the IceCap’s blueline and put it away for his fourth goal of the year.
Mannino (1-0-0) earned his first win of the season making saves on 26-of-27 shots. Dekanich (3-1-0) took his first loss of the season with 28 saves on 31 shots.
Notables: The Monarchs scored a goal at 12:23 of the first period marking their first goal since Sunday, October 28, spanning 146 minutes and 11 seconds…The Monarchs tallied a season-high three power play goals…The Monarchs are 13-for-13 on the penalty kill in their last two games…Monarchs goaltender Peter Mannino defeated his former team and made his Monarchs debut tallying 26 saves in the victory.
The Monarchs return to action against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail online on the Monarchs Radio Network at WGIRAM.com and at ManchesterMonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.