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Monarchs lose in OT to Binghamton

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs dropped the second game of the 2011 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinal Series B against the Binghamton Senators, 4-3 in overtime, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.  The Monarchs and Senators are tied at 1-1 in the best-of-seven series.

“I thought we played pretty well through the first two periods, and I was pleased at that point and time, but how quickly things can change with a bunch of young players,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game.  “We lost our way and stopped doing the things that got us to that point where we were hitting.”

“Quickly we unraveled,” explained Morris.  “Fortunately, we were able to score one to tie it up but there were way too many mental mistakes.  The first two periods we saw the Binghamton Senators and in the last period we saw the Ottawa Senators.”

“They’re a good club and Barry Brust played well and found a way to shut us down,” concluded Morris.

Center Derek Grant scored the game-winning overtime goal at 4:03.  Defenseman Patrick Coulombe skated the puck across the Monarchs blueline and fed a pass through the high slot to Grant who carried the puck toward goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.  Grant then tried to center the puck back to Coulombe, but the puck deflected off Zatkoff and into the back of the net.

The Monarchs opened up the scoring at 2:16 of the second period with a power play goal by rookie center Tyler Toffoli.  Center Justin Azevedo streaked through the neutral zone along the left wing boards.  After crossing the Senators blueline, Azevedo hit the brakes quickly and found center Corey Elkins positioned at the high point, who quickly snapped a pass to Toffoli crashing hard toward the left post.  Toffoli let go of a quick shot that beat goaltender Barry Brust, making a desperation dive across the crease.

Azevedo scored his first goal of the post-season at 9:09 of the second period.  Left wing Dwight King was entrenched deep in the Senators zone when he fed a pass to right wing Bud Holloway, positioned at the left wing half-wall.  Holloway then sent a pass to Azevedo who cranked a slap shot from the top of the point.  The shot came in high on Brust, who was unable to corral the puck.  After deflecting off of Brust’s blocker, the puck flipped up and over the sprawling goalie to give the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage.

Center Ryan Potulny would open the scoring for the Senators at 1:07 of the third period.  Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch cheated in to the Monarchs zone at the left wing half-wall.  Wiercioch let go of a low-angle snap shot that Zatkoff was unable to hold on to.  Potulny flew through the slot where he knocked the bouncing puck into the half open net.

Right wing Ryan Keller would tally the Senators second goal of the night at 5:22 of the third period.  Defenseman Craig Schira cycled the puck down low behind Zatkoff where right wing Roman Wick fought for the puck.  After earning possession, Wick gave a quick pass to Keller who took a one-timer from the right face-off dot that beat Zatkoff high and on the short side.

The Senators would take their first lead of the series at 8:59 of the third period with a power play goal by left wing Kaspars Daugavins.  The play started when Potulny, who was positioned along the left wing half-wall, fed a pass to defenseman Andre Benoit who was atop the umbrella formation.  Benoit let a slap shot go on net that Zatkoff could not control.  The rebound kicked straight to Daugavins who snapped the puck over Zatkoff and into the net.

The Monarchs would tie the score at 18:58 of the third period with a goal by defenseman Jake Muzzin.  The Monarchs had an extra skater on the ice after Zatkoff was called to the bench.  The added pressure paid off when right wing Brandon Kozun gathered the puck behind the net and fed a pass to Azevedo, who was entrenched along the left wing half-wall.  Azevedo then found Muzzin at the left point, where he would fire a slap shot that would slip between Brust’s leg pad and blocker.

Zatkoff (1-1) took his first loss of the post-season with 25 saves on 29 shots.  Brust (1-1) earned his first win of the playoffs by stopping 26-of-29 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play.  Binghamton was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Left wing Bud Holloway is ranked fourth in Monarchs all-time points in the playoffs with 15 points (7-8=15)…Defenseman Jake Muzzin leads the Monarchs all-time with a plus-7 rating…Center Justin Azevedo (1-3=4) has four points in the two games thus far in the playoffs…Center Tyler Toffoli scored his first playoff goal.
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