MANCHESTER, NH - Canadian Heritage Night marked the fifth win in six games this season for the Manchester Monarchs as they defeated the Binghamton Senators 4-0 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (5-1-0-0) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 10 points. The Senators (3-3-1-0) are tied for third place in the East Division with seven points.
“We played with a lot of energy in the early going and that paid dividends for us,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I thought (Martin) Jones was stellar. He made a lot of tough saves look easy again and he erased opportunities that they had. He kept the momentum moving in the right direction. I thought our best periods were our first and third period. We got a little lazy and took some penalties in the second period. We had a tough time keeping our energy high because we were a man down most of the period. We picked it up again in the third and we started to skate and play physical and we didn’t give them as much in the third because I thought we were a lot more thorough with our whole game .”
Right wing Brandon Kozun snatched the first of four goals on the day for the Monarchs at 11:02 of the first period. Center Andrei Loktionov played the puck back to defensemen Thomas Hickey who fired a slap shot on net. Kozun grabbed the loose rebound at the left door step for his second goal of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead with a one-timer from center Andy Andreoff at 13:20 of the opening frame. Defensemen David Kolomatis fired a slap shot from the right point that went wide of the net and bounced off the end boards. Right wing Stefan Legein attempted to stuff the puck through Binghamton netminder Ben Bishop’s pads at the right door step but the puck trickled out to Andreoff in the bottom of the right face-off circle. Andreoff wasted no time shooting the puck past Bishop for his third goal of the season.
Only 55 seconds into the second period, the Monarchs increased their lead on the Senators to 3-0 with a goal from Loktionov. Kozun gained the zone on the right wing and skated down and behind the net to the left wing corner. Kozun sent a quick pass to defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk at the center point. Bodnarchuk fired a pass to the right wing face-off circle for Loktionov who shot a wrister ice-level just inside the left post.
The Monarchs capped the scoring in the game with a power play goal by right wing Tyler Toffoli pushing their lead to 4-0. Defensemen Jake Muzzin passed the puck from the center point to center Linden Vey who was along the left wing half wall. Vey sent a slap pass to Toffoli in between the hash marks. Toffoli moved the puck to his backhand and took a shot through traffic. Left wing Marc-Andre Cliche swiped at the loose puck but it trickled back to Toffoli who finished the play with his third goal of the season.
Jones (5-1-0) earned his fifth victory and first shutout of the season stopping all 29 shots he faced. Bishop (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season saving 34-of-38 shots on the afternoon.
Manchester was 1-for-3 on the power play. Binghamton went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 8-for-25 (32.0%) on the power play this season ranking second best in the league…Manchester has scored at least one power play goal in each of their first six games this season…Right wing Brandon Kozun extended his point streak to six games (2-6=8) with a goal and an assist.
The Monarchs return to action for Bobble Election Night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network online at WGIRAM.com and at ManchesterMonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.