MANCHESTER, NH – Center Justin Azevedo
picked up three assists in his professional debut to help the Manchester Monarchs skate past the Hamilton Bulldogs, 4-2, in front of 3,042 fans at Copps Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Manchester (4-6-0-3) is ranked seventh in the Atlantic Division with 11 points. Hamilton (11-5-1-0) is in third place in the North Division with 23 points.
"We had a complete effort," said Head Coach Mark Morris of Wednesday's game. "We had contributions from a lot of different sources and a timely goal at a critical moment to get our focus back. It was a great road win."
Rookie defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov pinched in on the power play and capitalized with his second goal of the season at 11:25 of the second period for the game-winner. The Monarchs second power play goal of the game began with Azevedo handing the puck over to right wing Trevor Lewis on the left doorstep of the Bulldogs' goal. Opting not to shoot, Lewis passed the puck to Voynov at the inside edge of the right face-off circle for the one-timer that brought the score to 3-2 in the Monarchs favor.
Two seconds into the game, left wing Richard Clune, in his first game in a Monarchs jersey, dropped the gloves with Bulldogs left wing Greg Stewart. Following Clune's quick start, left wing Matt Moulson put Manchester on the scoreboard with his fourth tally of the season at 1:34 of the opening period. With Hamilton's right wing Mike Glumac in the penalty box for hooking, the Monarchs power play went to work. Right wing Teddy Purcell found Azevedo at the bottom of the left face-off circle. Azevedo, in his Monarchs debut, sent the puck to Moulson at the top of the crease. Moulson fanned on his first shot but connected on his second for the point-blank shot over goaltender Marc Denis' right pad for the power play tally.
With tic-tac-toe passing, the Monarchs doubled their lead with Purcell's fifth goal of the season at 6:26 of the second period. As the Bulldogs tried to clear the puck, Moulson kept it in Hamilton's zone along the blueline. Turning away from the line, Moulson found center Gabe Gauthier in the right face-off circle. Gauthier quickly located Purcell all alone in the left face-off circle and passed him the puck. Purcell walked in on Denis and sent a backhand shot into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Hamilton evened the game at 2-2 with two tallies 24-seconds apart. Center Ben Maxwell connected for his seventh goal of the season at 8:45 of the middle frame for the first Bulldogs goal of the game. Glumac passed the puck to Maxwell at the left point. Maxwell fired a slap shot on target that hit the bullseye behind Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier to bring Hamilton to within one goal. Right wing J.T. Wyman picked up an assist on the goal.
Center Brock Trotter's unassisted goal at 9:09 of the second stanza tied the game at two. Trotter stole the puck in the Monarchs zone between the hash marks. The centerman faked a shot, side-stepped a Monarchs defender and wristed the puck by Bernier on his glove side for the 2-2 game.
Left wing Scott Parse scored his first goal of the season to give Manchester a little insurance in the third period. After killing off seven penalty minutes, Manchester center David Meckler carried the puck down the right wing. As he approached the end redline, he found Parse at the left corner of the crease for the quick one-timer past Denis for the goal. Azevedo picked up his third assist of the night on the fourth goal of the game.
Bernier (3-1-2) earned his third win of the season stopping 26-of-28 shots. Denis (10-3-0) took the loss with 17 saves.
Manchester went 2-for-4 on the power play. Hamilton was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.