Manchester (4-7-0-0) sits in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with eight points. The Penguins (5-2-1-1) are tied for second place in the East Division with 12 points.
“They are a great team and beat us to the puck all night,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “They have a lot of experience and it was noticeable. The Penguins are well coached and poised. We were hoping to come out with the same energy as last night, but our mental toughness and quickness wasn’t where we needed it to be. Their team speed is impressive and they got tremendous goaltending that proved to be the difference tonight.”
The Penguins game winner was scored at 4:59 of the second period. The play started in the neutral zone as left wing Bryan Lerg grabbed a Monarchs turnover and passed the puck across the ice to right wing Colin McDonald. The right winger skated with the puck along the boards, over the Monarchs blueline and behind the net. As McDonald got to the corner, he delivered a pass to the tape of left wing Eric Tangradi as he skated into the high slot. Tangradi received the puck and let a wrist shot go for his fifth goal of the season.
Penguins forward Brian Gibbons opened the scoring on the power play at 13:13 of the first period after collecting a loose puck in front of the net. Penguins forward Jason Williams took the puck through the neutral zone and slid it over to right wing Colin McDonald. The right wing fired a shot from the right point producing a rebound in front of the net. Gibbons found himself in the right place and was able to wrist the puck into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
The Penguins added an insurance goal at 6:22 of the second period. McDonald passed the puck from the right point down to right wing Nick Peterson. The right wing took the puck below the goal line and shoveled it into the Monarchs crease. The puck bounced off a Monarchs defenseman and trickled in past Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
The Penguins fourth and final goal of the evening came on a point blank shot off the face-off at 12:20 of the third period. The play developed immediately following the face-off win by Penguins forward Brian Gibbons. Right wing Niko Dimitrakos found the loose puck and quickly fired a shot through the screen that found the back of the net.
The Monarchs scored their lone goal of the night on the power play. Right wing Jordan Nolan
carried the puck through the neutral zone. Nolan sent the puck across the ice to center Andrei Loktionov
streaking down the left wing. Loktionov carried the puck to the left face-off dot before finding right wing Brandon Kozun
waiting by the right post for the tip in past Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen. Kozun’s tally was his second of the year.
Jones (3-5-0-0) took his fifth loss of the season stopping 14-of-17 shots. Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
(1-2-0-0) stopped 17-of-18 shots in relief. Thiessen (5-2-0-0) earned his fifth victory of the season making 17 saves on 18 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. The Penguins were 2-for-4 with the man advantage. Notables:
Monarchs own a 1-3-0-0 record at home this season…Monarchs center Andrei Loktionov
tallied his team leading ninth assist in the loss…Right wing Brandon Kozun
scored his second goal of the season…Goaltender Martin Jones
is currently on a four-game losing streak; the franchise record for a goaltender’s losing streak is six games.