SALEM, NH - The Manchester Monarchs concluded their exhibition schedule with five power play goals and a 7-1 victory over the Portland Pirates at the ICENTER in Salem, New Hampshire in a VIP Cup preview on Monday afternoon.
The Monarchs (3-0-0-0) finished their exhibition schedule with their third victory in as many games. The Pirates (1-2-0-0) took their second consecutive loss to the Monarchs.
“This afternoon was a complete effort,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We skated hard and executed our system to a tee. We let the bottle out today. Early success is important to our psyche as a team as we hope to use these games in our efforts to have further success in the regular season.”
Right wing Tyler Toffoli netted the eventual game-winning goal at 4:50 of the middle period. Monarchs right wing Linden Vey passed the puck from the right wing corner to defenseman Slava Voynov at the top of the right wing face-off circle. Voynov stepped into a slap shot that rang off the post and bounced loose in front of the net. Toffoli swiped the loose puck into the net for his first goal of the exhibition season.
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a goal on the power play at 14:43 of the first period off a Pirates turnover. Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun started a three-on-one break into the Pirates zone. Kozun fired a shot on net and Toffoli picked up the rebound in front of the net. Toffoli found Vey streaking to the net and handed off a short pass. Vey attempted to bury the puck five-hole on goaltender Mark Visentin but was denied before the puck trickled over the goal line for Vey’s first goal of the pre-season.
The Monarchs took a 3-0 lead at 10:45 of the second period. Forward Brian O’Neill sent a pass cross-ice to center Jordan Weal who gained the Pirates zone along the left wing. Weal skated into the Pirates zone on a two-on-one and into the left wing face-off circle. Weal used the defenseman as a shield before wristing a shot high on glove side of Visentin. Weal’s first tally of exhibition play was also assisted by Voynov.
The Monarchs scored 15 seconds later on the power play to stretch their lead to 4-0 at 11:01 of the middle stanza. O’Neill and Weal battled for the puck behind the Pirates cage. Weal freed the puck and quickly sent a pass back to the right point for a one-timer by Kolomatis that found the back of the net for his first goal of the pre-season.
The Monarchs scored their fourth and final goal of the second period with a five-on-three power play tally by left wing Andy Andreoff. Voynov faked a slap shot at the center point and then found Andreoff in the slot. The left wing was able to redirect the pass into the back of the net for the goal. Andreoff’s first goal of the exhibition season was also assisted by defensemen Jake Muzzin at 15:22 of the second period.
The Monarchs stretched their lead to 6-0 at 7:02 of the third period with a goal by Voynov. With the Monarchs on the power play, Monarchs left wing Nikolay Prokhorkin passed the puck from the right wing half wall back to Voynov at the right point. Voynov fired a slap shot through traffic that beat Visentin on the right post. Vey also collected an assist on Voynov’s first goal of the exhibition season.
The Monarchs tallied their final goal of the day with their fifth power play tally in the game at 11:57 of the third period with a goal from Kozun. Kolomatis passed the puck from the right point down to Kozun in the right corner. Kozun skated the puck behind the net and finished the play with a wraparound goal. Left wing Tanner Pearson also assisted on Kozun’s first goal of the pre-season.
The Pirates ended Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones’ shutout bid at 14:51 of the third period with a goal by left wing Darian Dziurzynski. Defenseman Mark Louis made the breakout pass to left wing Evan Bloodoff. Dziurzynski and Bloodoff skated in on Jones on a two-on-one breakaway. Bloodoff took a shot from in between the hash marks that was stopped by Jones. The rebound trickled to Jones’ right and Dziurzynski managed to poke in the rebound for his first goal in exhibition play.
Jones (1-0-0) made saves on 17-of-18 shots for his first win of the pre-season. Visentin (0-1-0) registered 33 saves on 40 shots for his first loss in exhibition play.
Manchester went 5-for-11 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones had a total of 42 saves on 43 shots (.977 save percentage) in two appearances in exhibition play…Monarchs defenseman Slava Voynov recorded four points (1-3=4)…The Monarchs five power play goals are one shy of the franchise record six power play goals in one game…Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk, defenseman Thomas Hickey, center Andrei Loktionov, right wings Justin Johnson, Stefan Legein and Jordan Nolan did not play for the Monarchs today.
The Monarchs 2012-13 regular season begins on the road against the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, October 12. The Monarchs will return home the following weekend for their Home Opener. Secure your seats for the Monarchs Home Opening Weekend, presented by AutoFair, through the Opening Weekend Pack! Get two great seats for either the Opening Night game on Friday, October 19 or Opening Saturday game on October 20 as the Monarchs drop the puck on their 12th season in Manchester. In addition, you will receive four flex vouchers and a limited edition Opening Weekend puck (exclusive to this package). For more information, visit www.manchestermonarchs.com or call the Monarchs Front Office at (603) 626-7825.