Manchester (28-26-0-2) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. Adirondack (24-25-2-1) is in fifth place in the Northeast Division with 51 points.
“Everything seemed to go their way in regard to pucks that ended up on their stick at the right time,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We clanged three posts there in the third and we had a chance to narrow the margin and get back in the game, just seemed like penalties came at the wrong time. The puck was bouncing their way. We had a little better effort. I still think we need to be more disciplined in a lot of regards but the guys are learning all the way through.”
Right wing Matthew Ford scored a power play goal at the 14-minute mark of the second period to give the Phantoms a 3-0 lead. Forward Jason Akeson split the Monarchs defense and skated into the zone with speed. Akeson wristed the puck as he was tripped up and fell into Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
. Phantoms center Ben Holmstrom dove at the puck and slapped it toward Ford at the bottom of the left face-off circle. With bodies on the ice and scrambling for the puck, Ford wristed a shot into the open net as Zatkoff tried to get back into position. The eventual game-winning goal was Ford’s 14th tally of the season.
The Phantoms opened up the scoring in the first period at 14:56 off the stick of forward Tye McGinn. Forward Tyler Brown passed the puck to Akeson at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Akeson carried the puck around the back of the net and found McGinn in the slot. McGinn settled the puck and attempted a wrister but misfired on the shot. The bouncing puck trickled over Monarchs center Justin Azevedo
’s stick and over the goal line for his eighth goal of the season.
Adirondack extended the lead to 2-0 on a goal by Brown at 7:04 of the second period. McGinn passed the puck through the neutral zone along the left boards to Akeson who skated into the offensive zone. Akeson broke through the Monarchs zone and fired a point blank shot on Zatkoff. Brown corralled the rebound and wristed a shot top-shelf over the right shoulder of Zatkoff for his seventh goal of the season.
The Monarchs scored on the power play a little over three minutes later at 17:35 of the middle stanza. Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis
took a slap shot from top of the left face-off circle that rang off the right post and popped out in front. Right wing Linden Vey
corralled the loose puck and shot if off Phantoms goaltender Michael Leighton. Right wing Brandon Kozun
poked in the rebound for his 15th tally of the season.
Adirondack extended the lead to 4-1 just 3:39 into the third period. Akeson added his fourth assist of the night when he shot the puck from the point on Zatkoff. Akeson sent a pass to left wing Denis Hamel at the center point for a slap top. Zatkoff stopped the initial shot but the puck popped free to Ford in the left circle. Ford’s shot attempt deflected off Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell
’s skate and redirected to the back of the net for his 15th goal of the season and second of the game.
Manchester scored a shorthanded tally at 4:43 into the third period when Vey roofed a wrist shot past Leighton. Defenseman Slava Voynov
skated the puck through the neutral zone and into the Phantoms zone before leaving it for left wing Ray Kaunisto
at the top of the left wing face-off circle. Kaunisto deked and skated to the end red line to the left of the net where he flipped a pass across to Vey on the right doorstep. Vey lifted a shot over Leighton’s glove for his 14th goal of the season.
The Phantoms finished off the scoring with a five-on-three power play goal to make the score 5-2 at 12:59 of the final period. The Phantoms cycled the puck in the Monarchs zone. Defenseman Cullen Eddy one-timed a pass that Zatkoff made the save on. The rebound attempt by center Harry Zolnierczyk was deflected to the left of the crease where right wing Shane Harper dove to slap the puck in past Zatkoff’s outstretched glove. The goal was Harper’s his ninth goal of the season.
Zatkoff (15-12-1) took his 12th loss of the season stopping 23-of-28 shots. Leighton (16-19-0) earned his 16th win of the season making 31 saves on 33 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-7 on the power play. Adirondack was 3-for-8 with the man advantage. Notables:
The Monarchs are currently on a five-game losing-streak…Right wing Brandon Kozun
has tallied five goals and an assist for six points in five games versus Adirondack this season...Right wing Linden Vey
tallied a goal and an assist in the loss.