SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Manchester Monarchs dropped their final game of the 2009-10 regular season, a 7-3 decision to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (43-28-3-6) finished the regular season in third place in the Atlantic Division with 95 points. Springfield (25-39-12-4) finished the season in eighth place in the Atlantic Division with 66 points.
“It was a dismal effort from the start, a far cry from the work ethic and compete level expected throughout the organization,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Sunday’s game. “This is not the type of hockey you want to see in game No. 80. We played but we did not compete. To win this late in the season, you have to focus and bear down. Our biggest test starts now.”
Finishing the Monarchs off in the first period, right wing Colton Fretter scored his 26th goal of the season to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of Springfield. Fretter picked up the loose puck in front of goaltender J.F. Berube and buried it in the net. Defenseman Ryan Donald and left wing Viacheslav Trukhno assisted on Fretter’s eventual game-winning goal at 16:21 of the first period.
The Monarchs struck first with rookie defenseman Thomas Hickey
’s first goal of the season, unassisted at 2:04 of the opening frame. Keeping the puck in at the left point, Hickey took a couple strides forward and blasted a slap shot that beat Falcons goaltender Olivier Roy.
The Falcons quickly tied the game up at 4:10 of the first period with center Chad Wiseman’s 23rd goal of the season. Left wing Chris Minard found Wiseman in the bottom of the right face-off circle. Wiseman snapped a shot into the top of the net beating Berube. Defenseman Jeff Petry picked up an assist on the tying goal.
Center Ryan O’Marra scored a power play goal at 10:20 of the first period to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead. Cycling the puck with the man advantage, left wing Liam Reddox found left wing Bryan Lerg for the initial shot on net. Berube made the save but O’Marra was on the doorstep to pick up the loose change.
Minard gave Springfield a 3-1 advantage with a shorthanded goal at 13:01 of the first period. Reddox started the odd man rush with Minard. Skating down the right wing, Reddox fed the puck over to Minard, who was skating down the left wing, for the one-timer that snuck past Berube. Defenseman Eddie Del Grosso assisted on Minard’s 22nd goal of the season.
Center Jordan Eberle advanced the Falcons lead to 5-1 at 6:22 of the middle frame. Wiseman controlled the puck in the Monarchs zone and found Minard on the far side. Minard took the initial shot on net but Berube made the save. Eberle poked in the rebound from the slot for his fifth goal of the season.
Eberle advanced the score to 6-1 with his second goal of the game at 15:57 of the second period. Wiseman controlled the puck in the right wing circle and found Eberle in the bottom of the left wing circle for a one-timer. Minard picked up his fourth point of the night on the goal.
Right wing Colin McDonald was awarded a penalty shot after Monarchs defenseman Alec Martinez
pulled him down as he went to put a shot on net. Berube robbed McDonald with a quick glove save on the penalty shot.
Wiseman finished the Falcons scoring with his second goal of the game and 24th tally of the season at 2:05 of the third period. Minard carried the puck into the Monarchs zone and passed it to Wiseman in the left face-off circle. Wiseman’s shot from the circle beat Berube to bring the score to 7-1. Eberle earned an assist on the goal.
Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis
began a brief comeback with his eighth goal of the season at 16:42 of the final frame. Center Corey Elkins
carried the puck over the Falcons blueline and handed it off to Kolomatis at the right point. Kolomatis fired a slap shot from outside the right face-off circle that beat Roy. Right wing John Zeiler recorded his 11th goal of the season at 18:23 of the final period. Center Juraj Mikus tossed the puck out front to Zeiler who was positioned in the slot for the one-timer that beat Roy. Martinez assisted on the last goal of the game.
Berube (2-1-0) took his first professional loss with 24 saves on 31 shots. Roy (1-1-0) earned his first win of the season with 28 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Springfield was also 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
NOTABLES: The seven goals that the Falcons scored are the most the Monarchs have given up in one game this season…The four goals the Monarchs gave up in the first period ties the season record for goals against in a period…Center Corey Elkins
ends the season as the only Monarchs player to reach 20 goals this season.