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Muzzin Scores First Pro Goal in OT loss

by Kim Mueller / Los Angeles Kings
Jacob Muzzin scored his first professional goal in the Monarchs OT loss.

MANCHESTER, NH – Right wing Francois Bouchard scored the game-winning goal at 10:38 of the overtime period to give the Hershey Bears the 3-2 overtime victory over the Manchester Monarchs in game five of the 2010 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Final at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Thursday night. With the victory, the Bears now possess a 3-2 series lead with game six in Hershey on Saturday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m.

“We had pretty good coverage throughout the game,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the overtime loss. “We uncovered our goalie and looked a little out of sorts in overtime.

“[Bears netminder Michal] Neuvirth saved their tail; we had numerous opportunities. We had some real close calls, but we really showed our youth there at the end.”

Bouchard scored the game-winning goal at 10:38 of the overtime period to give the victory to Hershey. Left wing Chris Bourque flipped a puck on net that Monarchs netminder Jonathan Bernier initially stopped. Center Mathieu Perreault also took an additional swipe at the puck and dislodged it, sending it over toward the left post. Bouchard crashed the left post and, while falling into a pile of Monarchs players, the puck slid past the sprawling Bernier for the game-winning goal.

Left wing Bud Holloway scored his seventh goal of the playoffs at the 4:00-mark of the third period to start the scoring. Skating on the power play, left wing Dwight King circled along the left wing boards with the puck. King slid a feed back to defenseman Thomas Hickey at the blueline. Hickey sent the puck forward to Holloway, positioned at the top of the right face-off dot. Holloway fired a heavy slap shot that beat Bears netminder Michal Neuvirth underneath his left arm and inside the right post for the 1-0 Monarchs lead.

Center Kyle Wilson scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 11:41 of the third period to knot the score at one. Initiating the play in the neutral zone, center Steve Pinizzoto sent the puck to left wing Boyd Kane entering the offensive zone. Kane held the puck long enough for Wilson to crash the net. Kane sent a pass from the left point toward the right post, where the puck kicked off of Wilson’s skates and into the back of the net.

Defenseman Jacob Muzzin scored his first professional goal to put the Monarchs ahead 2-1 at the 17:26 mark of the third stanza. After numerous shots on goal were stopped by Neuvirth, Holloway cycled the puck behind the Bears net. Holloway passed the puck back to the point where it was collected by Hickey. A quick snap of his wrist sent the puck to Muzzin, who was creeping up to the top of the right face-off circle. A powerful slap shot beat Neuvirth to give the Monarchs a late lead that would not last.

With Neuvirth pulled in the final minutes, Bourque evened the score at 2-2 with 51 seconds remaining in the game. A face-off win by center Keith Aucoin preceded heavy offensive pressure from the Bears within the final minute of regulation. Aucoin was fed the puck at the left face-off circle. The Hershey center handed the puck over to left wing Alexandre Giroux, positioned at the point. A quick pass over to Bourque at the right wing boards was fired home to knot the score at two goals apiece at the end of regulation.

Bernier (10-5) drew his fifth loss of the playoffs, stopping 32-of-35 shots on net. Neuvirth (9-2) collected his ninth win of the postseason, halting 27-of-29 shots.

Manchester went 2-for-3 on the power play. Hershey was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.

NOTABLES: Defenseman Jacob Muzzin scored his first professional goal in tonight’s loss…With the victory in overtime, the Hershey Bears have tied the all-time record for most overtime wins in the Calder Cup Playoffs...With an assist on left wing Bud Holloway’s goal, left wing Dwight King is in the midst of a three-game point streak (1-2=3)…Over his last 10 playoff contests, Holloway has three goals and six assists (3-6=9)…Defenseman Thomas Hickey’s two assists mark the third time during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs that a Monarchs player has had two or more assists in a game.
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