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Meckler Leads Monarchs

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
David Meckler tallied two goals.

anchester Monarchs left wing David Meckler potted two goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday evening.

Manchester (33-20-2-5) remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 73 points. Springfield (18-32-9-3) is in eighth place in the Atlantic Division with 48 points.

“David [Meckler] had a huge game for us,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The line he centered and the (John) Zeiler line controlled the game for us. The 20 shots we gave up in the first period is a far cry from what we should be doing in this league. (Jonathan) Bernier was stellar in net.”

Morris felt the team played with a lot more purpose and was pleased with the all-around effort. “The final score was more indicative of how we finished rather than how we started,” explained Morris.

Meckler’s second goal of the game proved to be the game-winner, as he forced one past Falcons goaltender Devan Dubnyk with 1:41 left in the second period. Monarchs defenseman Alec Martinez carried the puck into the zone and dumped it to Manchester right wing Jon Rheault. The winger maintained puck possession while battling with a Falcons defender and made a nifty shuffle pass to Meckler who approached the crease and sniped the puck into the top left corner of the net to extend the Monarchs lead to three goals.

The scoring started at 5:30 of the first period as Monarchs right wing Kevin Westgarth recorded his 11th goal of the season. Monarchs left wing Dwight King dumped the puck into the Falcons zone and right wing John Zeiler went to retrieve the pass. Zeiler fed a streaking Westgarth who crashed the net. Dubnyk lunged across the crease in an attempt to get back into position. Westgarth counteracted this move with a short flip over the netminder’s outstretched glove.

Meckler recorded his first goal of the game at 1:02 of the first period to extend the Monarchs lead to 2-0. Monarchs center Justin Azevedo controlled the puck along the left wing boards and fed the puck into the left wing corner. Meckler sprinted to the puck and skated alongside the trapezoid to the left post. After faking a shot, he ripped the puck low on Dubnyk for his ninth tally of the season. Azevedo collected the lone assist on Meckler’s ninth goal of the season.

Manchester scored their fourth goal of the evening off the stick of left wing Bud Holloway at 10:10 of the second period. Following a hooking penalty by defenseman Theo Peckham at 9:03 of the second period, Azevedo won a face-off in the offensive zone back to right wing Scott Parse. Positioned at the point, Parse ripped a slap shot that struck a defender at the top of the crease and fell directly to Monarchs right wing Geoff Walker. The winger did not have a good angle to shoot the puck and instead chose to pass the puck to Holloway creeping up to the far post. Holloway forced the puck past Dubnyk to put the Monarchs up by four goals. Walker and Parse collected helpers on Holloway’s 16th goal of the season.

The Falcons would be held off the scoreboard until left wing Chris Minard scored his 12th goal of the season at 16:16 of the second period. Falcons left wing Chad Wiseman maintained puck possession at the top of the point and fired a shot on net that was stopped by netminder Jonathan Bernier. Defenseman Taylor Chorney, positioned in front of the net, collected the rebound off of Bernier and passed the puck to Minard, who spun around and backhanded the bouncing puck past Bernier to give the Falcons a goal late in the second period.

The Falcons would score to start the third period, as left wing Charles Linglet would record a goal to cut Manchester’s lead in half. Chorney possessed the puck at the Falcons blueline. He sent the puck over to his defense partner blueliner Chris Armstrong who intentionally fired the puck wide. Minard, positioned at the left post, redirected the blast behind Bernier.

Manchester center Corey Elkins scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season at 3:41 of the third period. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov passed the puck to defenseman David Kolomatis, who quickly dished the puck to Elkins at the top of the right face-off circle. Elkins ripped a blast that caught a Falcons defenseman on the way to the net, fooling Dubnyk and extending the Monarchs lead to 5-2. Voynov and Kolomatis recorded assists on Elkins power play goal.

Bernier (25-15-5) collected his 25th win of the season, stopping 38-of-40 shots on goal. Dubnyk (11-17-2) draws the loss, his 17th of the season, halting 35-of-40 pucks.

Manchester went 2-for-6 on the power play. Springfield was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

Notables: Left wing David Meckler recorded 11 shots on goal, the most by a Manchester player in a single game this season…The Monarchs and Falcons combined for 32 shots on goal in the first period, a season-high for a period…Center Justin Azevedo is on a three-game points streak, recording four points (2-2=4) in three games…Left wing Bud Holloway is also on a three-game point streak, recording three points (1-2=3)…Defenseman David Kolomatis has three assists in his last three games…Center Corey Elkins scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season…Right wing Kevin Westgarth extended his career-high mark for goals in a season, scoring his 11th of the 2009-10 campaign…With his assist tonight, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov recorded his first point since January 17 against Hartford.
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