MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Matt Moulson scored twice to help the Manchester Monarchs win 4-3 against the Norfolk Admirals on Tuesday night in front of 8,224 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Manchester (37-16-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 81 points. Norfolk (39-16-4-1) is ranked first in the East Division with 83 points.
The Monarchs jumped on the scoresheet first at 18:38 of the first frame with a goal from left wing Noah Clarke. With a turnover in the Admirals offensive zone, center Marty Murray collected the puck and took off down the left boards. With a three-on-two break, Murray reached the blueline and sent a pass to the middle of the ice. Defenseman Peter Harrold received the pass and sent the puck over to the left face-off circle where Clarke fired a slap shot into the top of the net over Norfolk goaltender Corey Crawford. The goal was Clarke's team leading 20th of the year.
With a fresh sheet of ice, Manchester increased their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Moulson at 1:41 of the second stanza. Center Gabe Gauthier stormed down the left side and released a low wrist shot. Moulson collected the rebound to the right of the crease and with the goalie on the ice, sent a wrist shot into the far top corner. Defenseman T.J. Kemp also earned an assist on the Monarchs second goal.
At 7:40 of the second period, the Admirals got back to within one with a goal from right wing Pierre Parenteau. Norfolk's David Bolland's initial shot from the point was saved by Manchester's goaltender Jason LaBarbera. The rebound came out to right wing Adam Burish who was camped out in front of the net. Burish's scoring attempt was saved by LaBarbera but the second rebound came out to the right side of the crease and with LaBarbera on the ice, Norfolk's Parenteau shot it over the glove for his 21st goal of the year.
The Monarchs regained their two goal lead with a power play goal from Moulson at 1:27 of the final frame. Gauthier was stationed in the right corner and sent a pass to center Matt Ryan in the right face-off circle. Ryan settled the puck down and sent a frozen rope to Moulson on the left side of the crease. The Cornell alum collected it and backhanded it in for his second goal of the night.
Thanks to defenseman Harrold, the Monarchs increased their lead to 4-1 at 5:42 of the third period. On the power play, defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky sent a pass down to the right corner of the boards where Murray was stationed. The center skated out of the corner and sent a pass to the far slot where Harrold collected it and fired a low wrist shot across the ice beating Crawford between the legs.
The Admirals made it 4-2 at 7:53 of the final period. Parenteau fired a shot into a sea of players in front of the net. The puck made it through and ricocheted off the leg of right wing Troy Brouwer to beat LaBarbera on the stick side. Admirals defenseman Mike Jarmuth also was credited with an assist on the goal.
Norfolk came within one at 18:32 of the third period. With the Monarchs on the power play, center Bolland stole the puck and passed it to Parenteau who broke in 1-on-1 with LaBarbera. The right wing roofed the puck over the stacked pads of the backstopper. The tally was his second of the night
LaBarbera notched the win saving 34-of-37 shots. Crawford took the loss stopping 29-of-33
Manchester went 2-for-9 on the power play. Norfolk was 2-for-8 with the man advantage.