Manchester (5-3-1-1) is tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with 12 points. Hershey (6-3-0-1) is in second place in the East Division with 13 points.
“They scored on four of their first five shot and took us out of it,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We competed right up until the end. They had two empty netters. The puck was bouncing their way tonight and we took way too many penalties. Martin Jones did a real good job in relief. Any breaks we got, we squandered. We had some glorious chances but the trips to the penalty box negated any of the chances we could have taken. (Hershey) has a dynamic team with a lot of experience and if you cough the puck up, it’s going to end up in your net.”
Center Mathieu Perreault brought the score to 4-2 with a breakaway goal at 15:41 of the first period. Perreault blocked an outlet pass from Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis in the Monarchs zone. Skating in on goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, Perreault slipped the puck between the netminder’s legs for his second tally of the season.
The Bears struck first at 1:23 of the opening period with right wing Brian Willsie’s fifth goal of the season on the first shot of the game. With Hershey putting on pressure deep in the Monarchs zone, right wing Andrew Gordon found Willsie in the high slot. The veteran forward collected the puck, turned toward the net and fired a shot that beat Zatkoff on his stick side. Defenseman Brian Fahey assisted on the first goal of the game for Hershey.
Monarchs center Corey Elkins evened the game at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the season at 10:22 of the first frame. Kolomatis blasted a shot from the left point that soared wide of the net. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov picked up the rebound and shoved it behind the cage to right wing Brandon Kozun. With the short pass, Kozun found Elkins skating up to the left doorstep for the one-timer that beat goaltender Todd Ford.
Only 55 seconds later, the Bears took their lead back with defenseman Zach Miskovic’s second tally of the season. Center Keith Aucoin found Miskovic at the right point. The defenseman wound up and rifled a slap shot through traffic that beat Zatkoff to give the Bears a 2-1 advantage at 11:15 of the first period. Willsie picked up his second point of the game by assisting on the goal.
Defenseman Alec Martinez scored his second goal in as many games at 13:56 of the first period. Skating on the power play, left wing Bud Holloway fed the puck out to the left point where center Justin Azevedo was stationed. Azevedo found Martinez at the right point for the one-timer that eluded Ford for the defenseman’s second goal of the season which tied the game at 2-2.
Aucoin was sprung on a breakaway at 14:42 of the opening stanza and snapped a wrist shot past Zatkoff on his glove side for his fifth goal of the season to give the Bears the 3-2 advantage.
Goaltender Martin Jones replaced Zatkoff between the Monarchs pipes at 15:26 of the first period.
Following a scoreless second period, Gordon netted a power play goal at 7:38 of the final frame to bring the score to 5-2 in favor of the Bears. Gordon parked himself in front of Jones as defenseman Lawrence Nycholat carried the puck to the center point and flipped it toward the net. Gordon redirected the shot past Jones for his seventh tally of the season. Left wing Kyle Greentree assisted on the goal.
Voynov responded 31 seconds later with his first goal of the season at 8:09 of the final period. With left wing Richard Clune screening Ford, Voynov fired a shot from the right point that found the back of the net. Kolomatis and Azevedo picked up assists on the Monarchs final goal of the game.
Left wing Boyd Kane and center Jay Beagle each scored empty net goals to bring the final score to 7-3 in the Bears favor.
Zatkoff (3-3-1) took his third loss of the season, stopping 1-of-5 shots on net before being replaced by Jones who made 13 saves on 14 shots. Ford (1-0-0) collected his first victory of the season, halting 27-of-30 shots on goal.
Manchester was 1-for-7 on the power play. Hershey was also 1-for-8 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Bears extend their regular season record against the Monarchs to 6-11-1-1…The Monarchs dropped the first back-to-back games this season…In the first period, five goals were scored five minutes and 19 seconds apart…Defenseman Alec Martinez has scored in back-to-back games…Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov tallied his first goal of the season.
The Monarchs will next travel to the XL Center to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. 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.