MANCHESTER, NH –
Right wing Linden Vey
scored a late third period goal to lift the Manchester Monarchs over the Portland Pirates, 4-3, on Education Day, presented by Northeast Delta Dental at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
Manchester (6-8-0-1) is tied with the Providence Bruins (6-7-1-0) for second place in the Atlantic Division with 13 points each. The Pirates (4-6-0-1) are fifth place in the Division with nine points.
“The sign of any team is how you improve from start to finish,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “We continue to learn and improve. We are trying to encourage our guys to be more responsible and accountable. It is a group effort to have sustained success at this level. The students in the stands were fantastic. You could feel the energy and excitement that they brought.”
The Monarchs were able to grab the game-winner at 18:16 of the third period. With the puck dumped into the Pirates zone, Monarchs left wing Dwight King
hit the Pirates defenseman lodging the puck free behind the night and pushed a short pass up the left wing boards to center Justin Azevedo
. The center carried the puck against the boards before sending a pass to Vey in the slot. Vey redirected the pass into the net behind Pirates goaltender Curtis McElhinney for his third goal of the season.
The Pirates opened the scoring off the stick of center Nathan Oystrick at 6:39 of the first period. The play started when Pirates center Colin Long picked up the puck behind the Monarchs net and passed it to right wing Matt Watkins in the right corner. Watkins collected the pass and found Oystrick open in front of the net where Oystrick wristed a shot that beat Monarchs goalie Jeff Zatkoff
high on his stick side.
The Monarchs were quick to answer the Pirates tally when they capitalized on a Pirates error only 54 seconds later in the period. Monarchs left wing David Meckler
was skating through the neutral zone on the fore-check as a Pirates defenseman attempted a cross-ice pass from their own blueline. The pass was deflected and stolen by Meckler who skated in for the breakaway. The left wing deked before wristing a shot five-hole for his fourth goal of the season.
Right wing Brett Hextall gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead at 6:08 of the second period. The Pirates controlled the puck behind the Monarchs net. Oystrick and center Marc-Antoine Pouliot were tied up down low by a Monarchs defenseman. As the puck squirted free, Oystrick was able to gain control and snap a pass diagonally from the right corner to the left point hitting teammate Hextall. The right wing one-timed the puck toward the net beating Zatkoff five-hole for his third goal of the season.
The Monarchs tied the game at 2-2 on left wing Ray Kaunisto
’s second goal of the season. Kaunisto received the break out pass from defenseman Jake Muzzin
just as he hit the Monarchs blueline. The left wing raced up through the neutral zone and entered the Pirates zone down the right wing boards. Still with possession of the puck behind the Pirates net, Kaunisto fought through a hit, turned and fired a shot from the bottom of the right wing face-off circle. The puck deflected off of McElhinney’s pads and into the net at 11:24 of the second period.
The Monarchs took their first lead of the game on a shorthanded goal at 10:19 of the third period with center Marc-Andre Cliche
’s team-leading seventh goal of the season. As the Pirates defense broke the puck out of their zone, Cliche deflected a cross-ice pass. Cliche chased after the puck and went in at an angle against McElhinney on the breakaway. The center took the puck on his forehand, deked the forehand shot and flipped a backhand high on the stick side to give the Monarchs a 3-2 lead.
The Pirates tied the up at 3-3 at 15:28 of the third period when center Andy Miele wristed a shot top shelf on Zatkoff. As the Pirates cycled the puck in the Monarchs zone, center Brock Trotter passed the puck behind the Monarchs net to right wing Mathieu Beaudoin. The right wing quickly sent a pass in front of the net where Miele gained control of it and rifled a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the season.
Zatkoff (2-2-1) earned his second win of the season stopping 28-of-31 shots. McElhinney (2-5-0) took his fifth loss of the season making 24 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. The Pirates were also 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Notables:
The Monarchs are 3-2-0-0 against the Pirates this season…Manchester snapped their five-game winless streak at the Verizon Wireless Arena…Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche
scored his team-leading seventh goal…Cliche’s tally was also his first shorthanded goal of the season…Monarchs right wing Linden Vey
tallied his first professional game-winning goal at 18:16 of the third period…Monarchs left wing David Meckler
moved into fourth on the Monarchs all-time goals scored list.