MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Chris Terry recorded three assists as the Albany River Rats topped the Manchester Monarchs, 5-2, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. The first 2,000 fans to Saturday’s game received a Kevin Westgarth
Manchester (33-23-2-5) remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 73 points. Albany (32-23-3-3) is in second place in the East Division with 70 points.
“That was a tough call,” Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris explained when referring to the five minute major and game misconduct for charging that referee David Banfield issued to Monarchs right wing Scott Parse
in the third period.
“It was a critical point in the game. We lost Parse, and we lost (Kevin) Westgarth for pulling a guy out of the pile. Parse is not the type of guy that is going to run a player. He put his shoulder into it and the kid got his clock cleaned. You never want to see someone get hurt. It was a turning point in the game.
“We were well on the track to challenge for the win but that incident changed the outcome.”
Albany received a five minute power play in the third period on the Parse major for charging at 6:39. After controlling the puck in the offensive zone, Terry drew the Monarchs defensemen and netminder to the left side of the net. The winger then slid a pass to left wing Drayson Bowman at the right doorstep who buried the puck in the back of the net for his 14th tally on the season. Left wing Jacob Micflikier also picked up an assist on the goal.
Albany would strike first in the game with a goal by center Nick Dodge at 13:16 of the first period. River Rats defenseman Bryan Rodney would start the play with a pass up the ice to Terry. Picking up his first assist of the game, Terry carried the puck into the zone along the right wing and found his linemate Dodge in the left face-off circle for a one-timer that beat Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff
on his glove side for his 13th tally of the season.
Micflikier picked up a power play goal at 19:46 of the opening frame to give Albany a 2-0 advantage. Cycling the puck, Terry sent a pass across the zone to defenseman Bryan Rodney at the right point. The puck found the stick of Micflikier, between the hash marks, who tipped the puck past Zatkoff for his 14th goal of the season.
The Monarchs would strike back in the second period with a power play goal by defenseman David Kolomatis
at 17:46. After winning the face-off in the River Rats zone, center Gabe Gauthier fed the puck back to Kolomatis at the left point. After settling the puck, Kolomatis sent a blast to the back of Albany’s net for his fifth goal of the season.
Right wing Geoff Walker evened the game at 2-2 at 4:48 of the third period. Walker picked up the puck in the neutral zone and carried into the River Rats zone along the right wing and found left wing Dwight King
streaking down the left side. King returned the favor and sent the puck toward the net for Walker to tip past Albany’s netminder Justin Peters for his fifth goal of the season. Defenseman Joe Piskula picked up an assist on the tying goal.
Albany scored their second goal on Parse’s five minute major for charging only 13 seconds after Bowman’s game winner. Defenseman Jamie McBain sent a pass from the left point past defenseman Drew Bagnall who was sprawled out on the ice. In the right face-off circle, right wing Jerome Samson fired a one-timer across the crease to center Zach Boychuk who redirected the shot into the net just inside the left post for his 14th goal of the season.
Left wing Nicolas Blanchard finished off the Monarchs with an empty net goal for his 13th goal of the season at 19:57 of the final period. Defenseman Bryan Rodney and center Mike Angelidis both earned assists on the goal.
Zatkoff (8-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season, stopping 29-of-33 shots on goal. Peters (22-16-2) collected his 22nd win of the season, stopping 36-of-38 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-6 on the power play. Albany was 3-for-6 with the man advantage. Notables: The Monarchs dropped their first regulation loss to the River Rats this season…Albany set a new record for the fastest two goals by an opponent this season with two goals only 13 seconds apart in the third period…Center Gabe Gauthier has 116 all-time assists as a Monarchs player.