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Monarchs take down Norfolk 4-2

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Manchester, NH – The Manchester Monarchs picked up two points in the standings and maintained their second place position with an exciting win against the Norfolk Admirals, 4-2, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.

Manchester (28-16-1-3) picked up their 28th win of the season to keep pace in the Atlantic Division with 60 points right behind the first place Portland Pirates (28-13-4-1, 61 points).  Norfolk received their 13th regulation loss of the season and sit in second place in the East Division with 57 points.

“It seemed like forever since we won,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Wednesday’s victory.  “Our second and third periods were really good.  We beat a really good team; it feels like a bit of a relief to get back into the win column.”

In what looked to be a scoreless second period the Monarchs netted a late tally on a power play goal at 18:02 of the middle stanza.  The goal came on the power play as the Monarchs cycled the puck in the Admirals zone.  Center Marc-Andre Cliche passed the puck from down low behind the goal line out to defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov.  The defenseman slid the puck across the blueline to center Oscar Moller who let a one-timer go from the top of the point that found its way past Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski to give the Monarchs a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.

At 9:36 of the first period right wing Alex Berry broke open the scoring on a quick transition goal.  After grabbing the loose puck in the neutral zone defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron passed the puck up along the boards to fellow blueliner Mathieu Roy.  Roy carried the puck into the Monarchs zone along the half wall and dished the puck toward the top of the crease where Berry was there to bury the puck past sliding goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for his 11th goal of the season.

Just a few minutes later at 12:30 of the opening frame, the Monarchs quickly tied the game at 1-1 with a great surge of energy.  Center Corey Elkins picked up his 13th tally of the season as the Monarchs cycled the puck in the Admirals zone.  After the puck was passed out to the point from behind the Admirals net by left wing Ray Kaunisto, defenseman Andrew Campbell took a slap shot from the point.  The shot went wide of the net and was collected by Elkins who quickly skated behind the Admirals net and wrapped the puck around and in to tie the game 1-1.

At 18:07 of the first stanza, the Admirals took their second lead of the game.  The goal came as left wing Stefano Giliati passed the puck to defenseman Radko Gudas in a point-to-point pass.  Gudas let a slap shot go that Zatkoff made the initial save on but the rebound was slid over the goal line by right wing Matt Fornataro for his 14th goal of the season.

The Monarchs scored a power play goal at 18:38 of the opening frame to tie the game up for the second time in the night.  The goal came off a face-off win by Moller.  The center won the face-off cleanly to Voynov who took a slap shot at the Admirals net.  Voynov’s shot from the right point was tipped in front by Cliche.  The two teams took the 2-2 tie into the locker rooms for the first intermission.

At 12:35 of the third period, Cliche found the net for his second goal of the night to give the Monarchs a 4-2 lead.  The goal came unassisted when Tokarski attempted to clear the puck from in front of his net.  Cliche followed the puck into the Admiral’s zone, blocked the clearing pass and stuffed the loose puck into the net.

Zatkoff (11-11-3) picked up his 11th win of the season stopping 34-of-36 shots.  Tikarski (10-12-1) stopped 28-of-32 shots on net as he collected his 12th loss of the season.

Manchester went 3-for-5 on the power play.  Norfolk was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Manchester broke its three-game winless streak…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is now in sixth place all-time for saves by a Monarchs goalie with 1,360 saves…Last time the Monarchs scored three power play goals in a game was on November 17, 2010 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack…Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche broke the season record for power play goals in a single game with two power play goals tonight.
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