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Monarchs Spooked In Overtime

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MANCHESTER, NH –Defenseman Travis Hamonic scored the game-winning goal in overtime, lifting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.

Manchester (5-2-1-1) remains in second place in the Atlantic Division with 12 points. Bridgeport (3-5-0-0) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with six points.

“We salvaged a point from a less than stellar effort,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We didn’t win a whole lot of puck battles; we were hesitant for some reason. They came out with guns a blazing. (Jeff) Zatkoff made several saves to keep the score close. A couple of miscues were the difference. We certainly had our chance to win it.”

Hamonic scored the game-winning goal at 1:06 of the overtime period. Defenseman Alec Martinez made an attempt to clear the puck when it was intercepted by Bridgeport center Rob Hisey positioned near the right wing circle. Hisey passed the puck to the right point where it was collected by defenseman Dustin Kohn, who carried the puck from right-to-left. Kohn found the wide open Hamonic within the left face-off circle, where he fired a powerful drive on Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff that beat the netminder five-hole to lift the Sound Tigers to their first road win of the season.

Center David Ullstrom scored at 15:56 of the first period to put the Sound Tigers on the board. Hamonic sent the puck into the left wing corner where it was collected by left wing Jesse Joensuu. The winger levied a powerful hit on a Monarchs defender, winning the puck battle in the process. Joensuu passed the puck backwards towards Ullstrom who skated across the left wing circle directly to the slot and backhanded the puck over a sliding Zatkoff. The tally, a power play goal, was Ullstrom’s third tally of the season.

Hisey scored his third goal of the season at 18:32 of the second period. Defenseman Dustin Kohn dumped the puck down the right wing boards where it was collected by center Rob Schremp, who is playing in his first game for the Sound Tigers after being assigned to a conditioning stint by the New York Islanders. Schremp carried the puck from right-to-left behind the net. A quick backhand pass connected with Hisey, positioned at the top of the slot. Left unguarded, Hisey blasted a slap shot that zoomed over Zatkoff’s head to double the Sound Tigers advantage, giving them a 2-0 lead that they would carry into third period play.

Left wing David Meckler put the Monarchs on the board with 11:09 remaining in the third period. Meckler initiated the play by intercepting a failed Bridgeport pass, as Schremp was unable to connect with Hisey in transition. Batting the puck out of the air, Meckler collected the turnover and fired it on goal where it was blocked by a Sound Tigers defenseman in the slot. The rebound caromed back to Meckler, where it became lodged momentarily within his jersey. Skating toward the goal line in the right wing corner, the puck dislodged and fell to Meckler’s stick, where a quick wrist shot on net snuck between the post and goaltender Kevin Poulin’s pad. The goal was Meckler’s sixth goal of the season.

Martinez scored the game-tying goal at 13:23 of the third period. Defenseman Thomas Hickey contained the puck at the left point and skated along the blue line toward the right wing boards. Hickey sent a feed to Martinez positioned at the top of the right face-off dot. A quick wrister beat Poulin top-shelf to knot the score at 2-2 in the closing minutes of the third period. The goal was Martinez’s first marker of the season.

Zatkoff (3-2-1) drew the overtime loss, stopping 27-of-30 shots on net. Poulin (2-1-0) collected the victory, his third of the season halting 25-of-27 shots on goal.

Manchester was 1-for-4 on the power play. Bridgeport was also 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables: Left wing Brandon Kozun was held off the scoresheet for only the third time this season…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff snapped a two-game winning streak, drawing his first defeat since the season opener in Portland on October 9, a 6-5 defeat to the Pirates…The Monarchs drew their first loss dating back to October 19, a 3-2 shootout loss to Portland, snapping a season-high three-game winning streak…Left wing David Meckler’s third period goal places him first on the team in goals scored with six tallies...Meckler’s nine points also gives him the team lead in that category.

The Monarchs will travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania to take on the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center in a 5:00 p.m. tilt on Sunday evening. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGAM 900/1250 AM and at www.manchestermonarchs.com.

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