MANCHESTER, NH – Defenseman David Kolomatis scored two power play goals to lead the Manchester Monarchs in a 2-1 victory against Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (2-0-0-0) leads the Atlantic Division with four points. The Devils (0-1-0-0) are tied for second place in the Northeast Division with zero points.
“We beat a talented team tonight,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “It caps off a successful start to our season leading to our Home Opener. The team is working hard and playing pretty good hockey. We have adapted nicely to the systems we have worked on since Training Camp. We’ll continue to make the necessary improvements to clean up parts of our game that need adjustments.”
The Monarchs took a 2-1 lead at 14:10 of the opening period with Kolomatis’ second power play goal of the game. As the Monarchs maintained possession in the Devils zone, left wing Nikolay Prokhorkin kept the play alive as he chipped the puck to the left wing half wall. Right wing Brandon Kozun tracked down the puck and played it back to Kolomatis at the left point. Prokhorkin set up a partial screen in front of the net as Kolomatis fired a slap shot from the left point that found its way into the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the season and the eventual game-winning tally.
The Devils started the scoring at 8:18 of the first period with a goal by left wing Chad Wiseman. Defenseman Raman Hrabarenka gained the Monarchs zone along the right wing boards before wristing a shot on goal from the right point. Hrabarenka’s shot took an awkward bounce off of goaltender Martin Jones and caromed to the hash marks in front of the netminder. Wiseman crashed the net and one-timed the loose puck into the open left side of the net for his first goal of the season. Defenseman Alexander Urbom also registered an assist on Hrabarenka’s lone tally of the game.
Kolomatis tied the game at 1-1 for the Monarchs just 29 seconds after Hrabarenk’s goal as Manchester skated with the man advantage. Defenseman Jake Muzzin began the play at the left point and passed it to his defensive partner at the opposite point. Kolomatis took two strides down the right wing boards before connecting with Monarchs right wing Tyler Toffoli in the left corner of the Devils zone. Kolomatis skated to just inside the center point to receive a return pass from Toffoli. With center Marc-Andre Cliche in front of the net screening goaltender Keith Kinkaid, Kolomatis ripped a slap shot into the net for his first tally of the season at 8:47 of the first period.
Jones (2-0-0) earned his second consecutive victory of the season stopping 22-of-23 shots. Kinkaid (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season making 25 saves on 27 shots.
Manchester went 2-for-3 on the power play. The Devils were 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs improved their record on the road to 2-0-0-0…Manchester tallied two power play goals for the first time this season…The Monarchs are 3-for-6 when playing with the man advantage and 9-for-9 on the penalty kill…Defenseman David Kolomatis scored two goals in a game for the first time since a 7-3 victory over the Providence Bruins on December 31, 2010…Defenseman Andrew Campbell appeared in his 300th American Hockey League game which have all been with the Monarchs…Monarchs left wing Nikolay Prokhorkin tallied his first professional point, an assist, in his AHL debut.
The Monarchs return to Manchester for their Home Opener at the Verizon Wireless Arena against the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 19. 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.