Manchester (27-20-0-2) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 56 points. Bridgeport (23-18-3-2) is tied with the Connecticut Whale (21-16-4-5) for first place in the Northeast Division with 51 points.
“This was a solid road win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “There was plenty of focus and contributions from the whole team. The special teams did an outstanding job and it was nice to see Martin Jones
have a solid outing. Bridgeport can really skate and we outworked them tonight. Our puck movement on the power play was impressive, possibly the best we’ve seen so far this season.”
Center Justin Azevedo
gave the Monarchs a 3-1 lead 24 seconds into the third period which held on to be the decisive goal. Center Marc-Andre Cliche
passed the puck to Azevedo in the neutral zone and the center gained the Sound Tigers zone down the right wing. Azevedo was briefly held up by a Sound Tiger but was able to untangle him and the puck in order to snap a wrist shot past Bridgeport netminder Kevin Poulin. Defenseman Andrew Campbell
was credited with an assist on Azevedo’s ninth goal of the season.
Cliche put the Monarchs on the scoreboard with his team-leading 16th goal of the season while skating on a power play at 5:47 of the first period. Azevedo cycled the puck from the left wing to defenseman Thomas Hickey
at the center point. Hickey released a slap shot that Poulin saved with his pads. Cliche picked up the rebound in front and lifted it into the open net for the early 1-0 lead.
The Sound Tigers evened the score at 1-1 at 9:53 of the opening frame when defenseman Ty Wishart scored his second tally of the season. Left wing Scott Howes gained the Monarchs zone down the right wing boards before circling back to find Wishart just inside the blueline. Wishart launched a slap shot that deflected off bodies in front of the net and found the back of the net. Center Jeremy Colliton also assisted on the tying goal.
Right wing Linden Vey
gave the Monarchs a 2-1 advantage at 16:57 of the second period. Defenseman David Kolomatis
sent a pass that jumpstarted right wing Jordan Nolan
up the right wing and over Bridgeport’s blueline. Nolan slowed down in the right face-off circle and flipped a backhand pass over to Vey between the hash marks. Vey one-timed the pass and the puck soared into the top left corner of the net behind Poulin for his 13th goal of the season.
Left wing Michael Haley brought the game back to within one goal at 13:12 of the third period. Center Casey Cizikas skated from the Sound Tigers zone up through neutral territory and straight down the Monarchs zone, side-stepping Monarchs players as he went from zone-to-zone. Cizikas shot the puck at point blank range and Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
made the initial save. Haley put the breaks on in the slot and tapped the rebound into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Defenseman Jon Landry earned an assist on the final goal of the game.
Jones (13-12-1) earned his 13th victory of the season stopping 18-of-20 shots. Poulin (13-13-1) took his 13th loss of the season making 26 saves on 29 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Notables:
Manchester has a 3-2-0-0 record against Bridgeport in five games this season…The Monarchs are on a three-game winning-streak and have won six of their last seven contests…The Monarchs are 19-5-0-2 in games that have been decided by one goal…Center Marc-Andre Cliche
has 10 points (5-5=10) in his last seven games...Center Justin Azevedo
has four points (2-2=4) in his last three games…Forward Alex Hudson made his American Hockey League debut with the Monarchs.