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Monarchs Rebuked With Luke's Fluke

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
PORTLAND, ME – Center Luke Adam’s goal at 4:29 of the overtime period was the Manchester Monarchs demise as the Portland Pirates took the two points with a 6-5 victory on Wednesday evening at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Manchester (43-25-4-6, 96 points) recorded their fourth overtime loss of the season, gaining one point in the process, to remain in second place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points.  Portland (46-23-6-2, 100 points) collected their 46th victory of the season, building upon their first place position in the Atlantic Division, reaching 100 points on the year.

“We had some great opportunities in that game, but unfortunately we kept letting them back in,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the overtime defeat.  “The game was ours for the win and we let it slip through our fingers.  It’s unfortunate because we were chasing those guys – we had them on their heels several times but kept letting them back in the game.  That’s all there is to say.”

Adam recorded the game-winning goal with 31 seconds remaining in the overtime period.  Defenseman Thomas Hickey turned the puck over into the neutral zone and the Pirates entered the zone on a 2-on-1 breakout.  Skating down the right wing, center Paul Byron passed the puck across the slot, right-to-left, where it was forced home by Adam near the left post for the victory.

Byron scored his 23rd goal of the season at 8:42 of the first period.  With seconds remaining on a penalty issued to defenseman Jake Muzzin, Adam sent a puck from the left point over to defenseman Dennis Persson at the right point.  A quick pass forward caught the stick of Byron.  The center deked a Monarchs defender and fired the puck top-shelf from between the hash marks for the power play goal.

Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov scored his 14th goal of the season, a power play goal, at 16:48 of the first period.  The Monarchs were set in the umbrella formation as defenseman David Kolomatis, positioned at the top of the left face-off circle, cycled the puck to center Justin Azevedo at the top of the slot.  Azevedo sent the puck over to Voynov, atop the right face-off circle, and fired a one-timer over the left shoulder of Portland goaltender Jeff Jakaitis.

Center John Zeiler scored his seventh goal of the season 58 seconds into the second period.  Right wing Bud Holloway sent the puck behind the Portland cage where it was collected by right wing David Meckler.  Following a brief pause, Meckler passed the puck out to the left face-off circle where Zeiler fired the puck past Jakaitis for the go-ahead goal early in the second period.

Kolomatis scored his eighth goal of the season at 4:09 of the second period to give the Monarchs a 3-1 advantage.  With the Monarchs entrenched in the Pirates zone on a 5-on-3 power play, Voynov sent a feed down the right wing boards where it was collected by Azevedo within the right face-off circle.  Azevedo sent a pass across the crease to Kolomatis at the top of the left face-off circle, where he fired the puck past Jakaitis.

Byron scored his second goal of the game at 7:08 of the second period.  From the right wing corner, Adam sent the puck toward Byron at the right point.  A quick give-and-go with Persson at the left point shifted the defense, allowing Byron to receive the puck back and fire a slap shot past Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, bringing Portland to within one goal.

Defenseman Patrick Mullen scored his second goal of the season at 11:46 of the second period to give Manchester their two-goal lead back.  Center Jordan Weal skated from behind the net toward the right wing boards with the puck.  Weal sent a pass toward the top of the slot where Mullen fired a blast on goal that was turned aside by Jakaitis.  Mullen, never breaking stride, crashed the left post and wristed home his own rebound to create a 4-2 score midway through the second period.

Left wing Colin Stuart scored his 16th goal of the season at 13:36 of the second period to bring Portland back to within one goal.  Right wing Mark Parrish, from within the left face-off circle on the 5-on-3 power play, sent a pass back to the left point where Persson collected the puck.  A quick dish to his right caught the stick of Stuart, near the top of the right face-off circle.  A slap shot passed through heavy traffic in front and beat Zatkoff for Portland’s third goal of the game.

Adam scored his 27th goal of the season at 7:50 of the third period, tying the score at 4-4.  A Monarchs turnover on the penalty kill behind the net was collected by Parrish and quickly dished out in front of the goal to Adam.  A simple wrist shot beat Zatkoff, whose last ditch sliding effort could not prevent the puck from entering the net.

Left wing Derek Whitmore scored his 27th goal of the season at 8:02 of the third period, the go-ahead goal 12 seconds after Adam’s goal.  Following a center ice face-off win by the Pirates, center Brian Roloff entered the offensive zone and fired a shot on goal that was halted by Zatkoff.   A scrum in front of the goal eventually ended with Whitmore forcing home the puck past the Monarchs netminder.  Left wing Jacob Legace also recorded an assist on the play.

Holloway scored his 28th goal of the season at 14:58 of the third period to tie the game at 5-5 and push overtime.  On the power play, Azevedo wrapped the puck around the boards from the right point to Holloway to the left wing corner.  A bad angle shot on goal nicked the post and ricocheted in the net off of Jakaitis with 5:02 remaining in regulation.

Zatkoff (20-16-5) dropped his 16th decision of the season, halting 29-of-35 shots on goal.  Jakaitis (5-3-0) picked up his fifth victory of the season, stopping 27-of-32 shots on net. 

Manchester went 3-for-6 on the power play.  Portland went 4-for-5 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Center Jordan Weal recorded his first professional point by assisting on defenseman Patrick Mullen’s second period goal…Manchester’s three power play goals marked the third time all season the Monarchs have posted at least three goals with the man advantage…Center Justin Azevedo recorded his second three-point game of the season and the sixth such time in his career…Azevedo has five points (1-4=5) over his last two games, recording a goal and four assists…Right wing Bud Holloway and defenseman David Kolomatis are riding two-game goal streaks, with each player recording a goal in their last two contests…The last time the Monarchs combined with an opponent to record 11 goals in a game was the season opening game on October 9 against Portland, with the Pirates recording a 6-5 victory over Manchester.
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