MANCHESTER, NH – Newly acquired right wing Alexandre Daigle scored two goals for the Manchester Monarchs but the Iowa Stars shined bright with a 5-2 victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena in front of 7,118 fans on Wednesday night.
Manchester (36-23-2-4, 78 points) is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Iowa (30-28-1-6, 67 points) is in fifth place in the West Division.
Left wing Loui Eriksson started the scoring for the Stars with his 20th goal of the season at 8:13 of the first period. Center Toby Petersen sent the puck into the Monarchs zone and goaltender Barry Brust attempted to clear the puck but it bounced off referee, Terry Koharski. Right wing Junior Lessard picked up the puck and sent a shot on net. Brust made the save but Eriksson was out front to jam in the rebound.
The Stars took a 2-0 lead with left wing Mathias Tjarnqvist's 16th goal of the season at the 28-second mark of the second frame. Right wing David Oliver took advantage of a turnover at the blueline and skated the puck up the boards. Tjarnqvist split the defense, picked up a pass from Oliver and deked Brust for the goal.
Lessard picked up his 21st goal of the season by planting himself in front of the net, grabbing a pass from Eriksson, tip-toeing around Monarchs defenseman Mark Ardelan and slipping the puck past Brust and over the goal line at 1:07 of the middle period. Peterson also collected an assisted on the play.
The Monarchs got on the board at 2:49 of the second period as Daigle's body redirected right wing Tim Jackman's blast from the hash marks past Stars goaltender Mike Smith for his first goal of the season in the American Hockey League. Defenseman Marty Wilford assisted on the power play goal by feeding the puck up to Jackman at the Stars blueline.
Iowa regained their three-goal lead as rookie forward Chris Conner scored his first professional goal of his career at 6:39 of the second period. Conner collected a pass from left wing Krys Barch and carried the puck behind the net. Conner brought the puck out to the goal line and banked a shot off of Brust into the net to give the Stars a 4-1 lead.
Monarchs replaced Brust with goaltender Adam Hauser midway through the second period.
Tjarnqvist scored his second goal of the night by slipping a backhander between Hauser's pads for his 17th goal of the season at 3:41 of the final stanza. Center Kyle Brodziak and Oliver assisted on the Stars final goal of the game.
Daigle collected his second of the night with a wrist shot from just inside the center point of the blueline at 4:40 of the third period. Daigle's shot soared through the air and clanked off of the crossbar and trickled over the goal line. Defenseman Richard Petiot and Wilford assisted on the goal that brought the game to 5-2.
Brust (17-11-1) took the loss with 13 saves before being replaced with Hauser who also stopped 13 shots. Smith (17-17-5) earned the win stopping 28 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Iowa was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.