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Manchester takes over first place

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
PORTLAND, ME – The Manchester Monarchs defeated the Portland Pirates, 2-1, at the Cumberland County Civic Center to move into first place in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division on Wednesday night.

Manchester (17-10-0-2) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 36 points.  Portland (12-11-1-2) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 27 points.
“A strong first period paved the way for a successful road win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.  “Our transition game was quick and we won a lot of loose pucks.  Portland had a big push in the second.  In the third, Patrick Mullen fired a rocket up under the cross bar for the game-winning goal.  The guys continue to play hard for one another and it shows.”
The Monarchs broke a 1-1 tie at 7:53 of the third period when defenseman Patrick Mullen blasted a shot on the eventual game-winning goal.  With the Monarchs on the power play, center Robbie Czarnik cycled the puck from down low to defenseman Thomas Hickey at the left point.  Hickey skated to the right point and played the puck to Mullen as they swapped positions.  Mullen released a slap shot from the left point that soared through traffic, slipped past Pirates netminder Curtis McElhinney and found its way under the crossbar for his fifth goal of the season.
Manchester opened the scoring at 5:33 of the first period.  Defenseman Andrew Campbell fired an indirect pass to right wing Brandon Kozun along the right wing boards.  With a head of steam, Kozun charged to the net and created a two-on-one with left wing Dwight King. The right wing faked a wrist shot before firing a pass to King on the left door step where he jammed it in for his third goal of the season and the early 1-0 lead.
The Pirates tied the game at 1-1 in the second period off the stick of right wing Patrick O’Sullivan. With the Pirates on the power play, center Andy Miele skated back and forth along the right wing boards looking for a shooting angle.  Miele found O’Sullivan at the left wing face-off circle for a one-timer that beat Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.  Center Brock Trotter also tallied an assist on O’Sullivan’s first goal of the season.
Zatkoff (8-3-1) earned his eighth victory of the season stopping 19-of-20 shots.  McElhinney (8-10-0) took 10th loss of the season making 24 saves on 26 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play.  Portland was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables:  The Monarchs are currently undefeated in regulation in their last six games (5-0-0-1) and are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games…Left wing Dwight King extended his point-streak (2-5=7) to seven games with a goal in the first period…Defenseman Patrick Mullen is currently on a three-game goal-streak (3-1=4)…Mullen is also on a four-game point-streak (3-2=5)…Right wing Brandon Kozun has recorded a point in eight of his last nine games.
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