|Jeff Zatkoff made 40 saves and four stops in the shootout for his fourth win of the year.
BINGHAMTON, NY – The Manchester Monarchs narrowly escaped with two points in a 6-5 shootout against the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
Manchester (11-4-1-1) leads the Atlantic Division with 24 points. Binghamton (7-7-2-1) is tied for fourth place in the East Division with 17 points.
"We played two and a half outstanding periods of hockey and then shut it down for some unknown reason," explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "We took two points the hard way. (Jeff) Zatkoff was stellar in the net.
"All the good things we did in the game negated the less than stellar play coming down the stretch but the Senators put in a real gutsy effort. Zatkoff stood on his head in the shootout and (Justin) Azevedo and (Oscar) Moller scored for us. Young teams are going to go through these moments and thankfully we came away with two points."
The game came down to a shootout and center Justin Azevedo scored the game-winner for the Monarchs as goaltender Jeff Zatkoff stopped 4-of-5 shooters. Left wing Denis Hamel was the lone shooter to beat Zatkoff in the shootout. Manchester’s center Oscar Moller also scored in the shootout as Senators netminder Mike Brodeur denied centers Andrei Loktionov, Corey Elkins and Juraj Mikus.
Monarchs right wing John Zeiler went off for high sticking at 8:45 of the first period and 16 seconds later, Senators right wing Ryan Keller tallied his ninth goal of the season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson collected the puck at the right point along the blueline. Karlsson sent a long pass to center Martin St. Pierre along the left wing half-wall. With Keller skating between the hash marks, St. Pierre sent a pass and found the right wing. Keller moved the puck to his backhand and flipped it over Zatkoff’s right pad for the Senators early 1-0 advantage.
Just over a minute later, Elkins evened the game at 1-1 with his fourth tally of the season. Azevedo passed the puck to Elkins who skated down the right wing toward the Senators net. Elkins tossed a backhand at Brodeur. The puck bounced from Brodeur’s legs to his right and rested in the crease. Azevedo and Binghamton’s center Cody Bass crashed the net and Elkin’s skated around the cage with just enough time to poke the puck over the goal line before Brodeur could fall on it. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov picked up his fourth assist on the goal at 10:07 of the opening frame.
Right wing Brandon Segal gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game at 10:07 of the first period. From just inside the Senators blueline, center Gabe Gauthier passed the puck up to center Marc-Andre Cliche in the left face-off circle. Cliche, in turn, sent the puck across the ice to Segal who is streaking toward the net along the right wing side. Segal is at the right doorstep when he receives the pass and tapped in the pass for his fourth goal of the season.
Elkins finished the opening frame with his second goal of the night to give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead heading into the locker room. Right wing Kevin Westgarth collected the puck along the left wing boards and found Elkins at the top of the crease. Taking his time, Elkins faked a shot from point-blank range and then flipped a backhand shot into the net. Defenseman Andrew Campbell picked up an assist on Elkins fifth goal of the season.
The second period started off with a showdown between Elkins and Binghamton’s Matt Lowry. Elkins struggled to keep his balance as Lowry threw several rights, none of which seemed to connect. Both players sat in the penalty box for five minutes each.
The Monarchs continued their scoring prowess with Moller’s sixth goal of the season at 6:22 of the second period. Zeiler stole the puck in the neutral zone and sprung Moller on a breakaway. Moller skated in on Brodeur all alone and put on the breaks at the top of the crease. Brodeur had gone down as Moller stopped and the center took the puck around the goaltender and stuffed it into the net.
Cliche then dropped the gloves with right wing Jason Bailey at 9:58 of the middle stanza. The Monarchs center connected on several punches and eventually took Bailey down to the ice before they both went to their respective penalty boxes.
Azevedo advanced the Monarchs lead to 5-1 at 3:34 of the third period with his second goal of the season. Elkins carried the puck into the left corner of the Senators zone before passing it to Azevedo in the left face-off circle. The second year center collected the puck and snapped a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net over Brodeur’s left shoulder. Defenseman Joe Piskula assisted on Azevedo’s goal. Elkins assist finished off his Gordie Howe Hat Trick which consists of a goal, an assist and a fight.
The Senators began their comeback at 10:59 of the third period with Hamel’s sixth tally of the season. He picked up the puck in Binghamton’s zone, carried it through the neutral zone and into the Monarchs zone. At the top of the right face-off circle, Hamel wound up and blasted a slap shot past Zatkoff’s glove and into the net.
At 12:08 of the final stanza, left wing Kaspars Daugavins picked up his fifth goal of the season to bring Binghamton to within two goals. Right wing Erik Condra fired the puck on net from the right point that Zatkoff saved with his chest pad. The netminder fell backward after making the save and Daugavins was on the left doorstep to chip the rebound into the net. Karlsson picked up his second assist of the night.
St. Pierre’s seventh goal of the season came at 15:21 of the third frame and brought the scored to 5-4 in the Monarchs favor. Keller found St. Pierre in the right face-off circle. The center wristed a shot that fluttered through the air and beat Zatkoff on his blocker side.
The Monarchs Segal went off at 17:24 of the third period for two minutes for holding. The Senators pulled Brodeur for the extra attacker and skated on a 6-on-4 power play. Defenseman Craig Schira one-timed a pass from Karlsson and scored his second goal of the season to tie the game at 5-5. Keller picked up his third point (1-2=3) on the tying goal!
Zatkoff (4-1-0) earned his fourth win with 40 saves on 45 shots and four saves in the shootout. Brodeur (5-3-1) took his first shootout loss with 30 saves in regulation and overtime and three in the shootout.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Binghamton went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs scored six goals in one game for the third time this season…Manchester won 6-3 over Albany on October 3 and then 6-1 over Springfield on October 18…Tonight’s game was the Monarchs first shootout win of the season…Center Corey Elkins recorded his first multi-point game of his pro career with two goals and an assist…Elkins also recorded his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick with a goal, an assist and a fight in one game…