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Second period energizes Manchester to 4-2 win over Connecticut

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
HARTFORD, CT – Three goals in the second period lifted the Manchester Monarchs over the Connecticut Whale and put them back into first place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 victory at the XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday night.


Manchester (29-16-1-3) picked up their 29th win of the season and regained first place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points.  Connecticut (22-19-2-5) took their 19th loss of the season and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points.

“Tonight’s game was another good road win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Friday’s victory in Connecticut.  “We fought back after killing several penalties in the first period.  At times, it wasn’t pretty but we made the most of the chances we had.  Connecticut kept coming at us and our energy was low so we changed a few things to counter their attack and it seemed to settle things down.  It went down to the buzzer.

“Our penalty killers deserve lots of credit for doing such a great job.  Any time you earn two points on the road, you have to feel good about it.”

Left wing Bud Holloway picked up his team-leading 15th goal of the season at 10:20 of the middle frame and it held up as the game-winning goal.  Connecticut’s left wing Brodie Dupont attempted to pass the puck through the neutral zone but Holloway was there to intercept it.  Holloway carried the puck into the Whale’s zone down the left wing and wristed a shot from the left face-off circle into the top right corner of the net behind goaltender Chad Johnson to give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead.

The lone goal in the first period came off the stick of center Evgeny Grachev at 11:23 of the first period for the Whale’s only lead of the game.  Center Tim Kennedy skated down the right wing and curved in toward the net.  Monarchs defenseman Jake Muzzin tried to stop Kennedy but the center spun away heading back into the right face-off circle.  As Kennedy spun away from Muzzin, he slid the puck to Grachev who was located on the left doorstep of the Monarchs crease and redirected the puck into the net and past goaltender Martin Jones.

The Monarchs took control of the game in the second period with defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov’s 10th goal of the season at 5:14.  Left wing Richard Clune carried the puck around the back of the Whale’s cage and tried to hit right wing John Zeiler with a pass in front.  Zeiler fanned on the pass but left wing David Meckler was in the left face-off circle for a one-timer that hit the right post.  The puck deflected off the post and soared across the ice to the high slot where Voynov was positioned for a one-timer into the back of the net.

Just 62 seconds after Voynov tied the game at 1-1, right wing Brandon Kozun netted his 11th tally of the season to give the Monarchs the one goal lead.  Defenseman Colten Teubert sprung center Corey Elkins down the left wing of Connecticut’s zone.  Elkins carried the puck into the bottom of the left face-off circle before he passed it back to Kozun in the top of the circle.  Kozun snapped a wrist shot that tickled the twine in the top right corner of the Whale’s net behind Johnson.

Right wing Dale Weiss brought the Whale back to within one goal with his 10th goal of the season at 13:41 of the middle stanza.  Weiss and Dupont played some catch in the Monarchs zone.  Dupont passed the puck to Weiss from the end boards to the right wing half wall.  Weiss then carried the puck into the right face-off circle and passed it back to Dupont along the end boards.  With Weiss heading to the slot, Dupont slid the puck through traffic and Weiss put the puck in the net off the left post.  Left wing Justin Soryal assisted on the Whale’s second goal of the game.

Zeiler added an insurance tally into the empty net at 19:10 of the third period as he scored his second goal of the season.

Jones (17-5-0) picked up his 15th win of the season stopping 26-of-28 shots.  Johnson (14-16-3) stopped 30-of-33 shots on net as he collected his 16th loss of the season.

Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play.  Connecticut was also 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Manchester regained their lead in the Atlantic Division after dropping down to second place on Sunday, January 23…Left wing Bud Holloway scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season…Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov picked up his team-leading 35th point of the season with a goal tonight…After dropping his last two games, goaltender Martin Jones takes home the victory tonight, his 17th of the season with 26 saves.
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