MONARCHS NARROWLY EDGE AEROS FOR THIRD WIN IN A ROW
/ Los Angeles Kings
HOUSTON, TX – The Manchester Monarchs held on to top the Houston Aeros 3-2 in front of 10,656 fans at the Toyota Center on Friday night.
Manchester (25-12-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 57 points. Houston (17-19-0-5) is in sixth place in the West Division with 39 points.
Center Matt Ryan started the scoring for the second time in as many games as he tallied his fourth goal of the season. Defenseman Eric Werner shot the puck from the point but Aeros netminder Josh Harding made the save. Ryan was camped out in front and buried the rebound at 13:24 of the opening period. Defenseman Doug Nolan also earned an assist on the play.
Monarchs left wing Noah Clarke made the game 2-0 at 19:46 of the first frame. On the power play, Werner sent the puck to left wing Matt Moulson at the right face-off circle. Moulson ripped a shot on net and Clarke redirected it past Harding.
Houston beat Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera at 11:35 of the middle period with a shorthanded tally from left wing Josh Olson. LaBarbera attempted to stick handle the puck but center Bryan Lundbohm picked his pocket and sent a pass from behind the net to Olson in the slot. Olson's one-timer beat LaBarbera to bring the score to 2-1.
The newest member of the Monarchs, center Marty Murray, scored his first goal in a purple uniform, third AHL goal of the season, at 16:37 of the second period. Center Patrick O'Sullivan and Murray broke into the Aeros zone on a 2-on-1. O'Sullivan sent the puck over to Murray in the right face-off circle who one-timed it past Harding. Right wing Tim Jackman earned an assist on the eventual game-winning goal.
Left wing Roman Voloshenko brought Houston to within one goal with his seventh tally of the season at 5:53 of the final stanza. Voloshenko skated down the right wing and passed the puck to his teammate, right wing Mattias Weinhandl, who was positioned behind the Monarchs net. Weinhandl returned the pass to Voloshenko who one-timed it into the back of the net.
LaBarbera earned the win by stopping 22-of-24 shots. Harding took the loss with 30 saves.
Manchester went 2-for-8 on the power play. Houston was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.