TORONTO, ON – The Manchester Monarchs scored five goals from five different players in their 5-2 win over the Toronto Marlies in front of 3,731 fans at the Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester (35-13-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 77 points. Toronto (21-28-2-4) is ranked fifth in the North Division with 48 points.
Right wing Tim Jackman tallied his 13th goal of the season at 14:44 of the first period to give the Monarchs the 1-0 lead. Left wing Matt Moulson pushed the puck up ice to Jackman in the neutral zone. Jackman carried the puck into the Marlies zone and blasted a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle to beat netminder Jean-Francois Racine on his blocker side. Center Gabe Gauthier earned an assist on the first goal of the night.
Center Marty Murray made it 2-0 when he scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play at 16:51 of the opening frame. Right wing Lauri Tukonen battled for the puck along the right wing end boards and passed it to Murray in the right face-off circle. Murray snapped a wrist shot over Racine's glove to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead. Left wing Noah Clarke also earned an assist on the play.
Marlies center Erik Westrum put Toronto on the board at 2:31 of the second period with his 21st goal of the season. Right wing Brett Engelhardt sent a pass to the front of the net and left wing Robbie Earl was there to put a shot on Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera. Making the initial save, the puck trickled through the crease behind LaBarbera and Westrum flipped it into the open net.
One minute and five seconds later, Gauthier regained Manchester's two-goal lead with his 11th tally of the season. Defenseman Eric Werner handed the puck over to Gauthier along the Marlies blueline. Gauthier carried the puck into the zone and fired a wrist shot past Racine's blocker from the right face-off circle to give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead.
Center Shay Stephenson added to the Monarchs lead at 13:17 of the second period with his seventh goal of the season. Left wing Petr Kanko picked up the puck behind Toronto's net and carried it up along the left wing boards. Holding the puck looking for the open man, Kanko found defenseman Brendan Buckley in the right face-off circle. Buckley then sent the puck to Stephenson in the slot for the one-timer.
Westrum collected his second tally of the game at 19:52 of the middle frame. With Monarchs defenseman Peter Harrold in the penalty box for tripping, Westrum set up in front of LaBarbera. Right wing Ben Ondrus fed the puck to Westrum who poked it over the goal line for his 22nd tally of the season.
Kanko finished off Toronto at 14:56 of the final period when he scored his sixth goal of the season. Buckley passed the puck up the ice to Kanko who carried it in along the left wing boards. Near the left face-off circle, Kanko cut straight to the goal and flipped a backhander through Racine's legs for the 5-2 lead. Stephenson earned his second point of the night on the final goal of the game.
LaBarbera earned his 30th win of the season with 19 saves. Racine took the loss stopping 22-of-27 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Toronto was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.