AHL: Pearson and Weal lead the way after Manchester loses two players

Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…

PROVIDENCE, RI – Left wing Tanner Pearson, center Jordan Weal and right wing Brandon Kozun each collected three-points as the Manchester Monarchs topped the Providence Bruins, 5-2, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night.

Manchester (7-1-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 17 points.  Providence (5-5-1-0) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 10 points.

“Tanner Pearson had a big night and got us on track early with a power play goal,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.  “It was a good team win.  Everyone contributed and these wins help us gain confidence to play consistent from start to finish.  Providence refused to lie down.  They made it tough on us right up until (Brandon) Kozun’s empty netter.  Martin Jones came up big on some scrambly plays.  He continues to be solid, making tough saves look routine.  When Providence got testy, we held our own.  (Andrew) Campbell, (Scott) Sabourin, and (Andy) Andreoff stood tall for the team and answered the bell.  Tomorrow is a new day and we’ll need to get ourselves ready to battle again.”

Rookie forward Nick Shore scored his second goal in as many games at 3:02 of the middle frame.  Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk carried the puck out of the Monarchs zone and sent a pass up to Pearson as he crossed into the Bruins zone.  Pearson fed the puck over to Shore who skated in on goaltender Niklas Svedberg from the left wing.  Shore moved the puck from his backhand to his forehand and flipped it over the goaltender’s left pad for the two-goal lead.

The Monarchs struck early as Pearson picked up his sixth goal of the season at the 25-second mark of the first period.  Skating on the power play, the Monarchs set up in the Bruins zone.  Kozun cycled the puck to Weal at the center point who then found Pearson in the right face-off circle.  Pearson ripped a shot into the top right corner of the net, beating Svedberg for the 1-0 advantage.

The Bruins evened the game at 1-1 at 18:08 of the opening period as center Alexander Khokhlachev scored his first tally of the season on the power play.  As Weal sat in the penalty box for goaltender interference, the Bruins began to cycle the puck in the Monarchs zone.  Left wing Jared Knight found right wing Seth Griffith behind the Monarchs cage.  Griffith carried the puck around the net and into the bottom of the left face-off circle before he snapped a shot on Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones.  The rebound bounced to the bottom of the right face-off circle where Khokhlachev was positioned for the one-timer to tie the game.

Manchester took a 2-1 lead into the locker room for the first intermission as Weal scored his second tally of the season at 19:58 of the opening frame.  Defenseman Nick Deslauriers passed the puck to defenseman Vincent LoVerde at the right point.  LoVerde fired a slap shot on net that Svedberg stopped, and the rebound bounced into the right face-off circle.  Weal picked up the loose puck and his initial shot was blocked by a Bruins player.  His second shot sored into the back of the net and the Monarchs took the 2-1 lead.

Left wing Andy Andreoff extended the Monarchs lead to 4-1 at 7:45 of the second period.  Skating on the power play, Kozun passed the puck to Pearson who found Andreoff skating down the right wing in the Bruins zone.  Andreoff released a shot that trickled through Svedberg’s pads and into the crease.  Andreoff followed his shot and pushed the goal over the line for his first tally of the season.

Goaltender Malcolm Subban replaced Svedberg between the pipes following Andreoff’s goal.

Providence cut Manchester’s lead in half at the 32-second mark of the third period with left wing Matt Fraser’s sixth goal of the season.  Defenseman Joe Morrow skated along the left wing boards and over the Monarchs blueline.  Morrow passed the puck over to Fraser who was just inside the blueline near the center point.  Fraser fired a one-timer that beat Jones five-hole for the Bruins’ second power play goal of the game.  Right wing Nick Johnson assisted on the Bruins final goal of the game.

Kozun finished off the Bruins at 18:55 of the third period with an empty net goal.  Weal and Deslauriers assisted on Kozun’s second goal of the season.

Jones (7-1-2) earned his seventh win of the season stopping 32-of-34 shots.  Svedberg (4-1-2) took his first regulation loss of the season making 13 saves on 17 shots.  Subban (0-2-0) stopped all 10 shots he faced in just over 31 minutes of relief time.

Manchester was 2-for-4 on the power play.  Providence also went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Manchester leads the AHL with a record of 7-1-1-2 for 17 points… Forward Nick Shore scored his second goal in as many games… Left wing Tanner Pearson recorded his first three-point (1-2=3) game of the season… Center Jordan Weal has six points (1-5=6) in his last three games… Right wing Brandon Kozun has five points (1-4=5) in his last three games… Left wing Andy Andreoff recorded his first goal of the season… Andreoff also joined defenseman Andrew Campbell and right wing Scott Sabourin in the penalty box in the second period; all three were assessed fighting majors… Forwards Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey were summoned to LA on Friday.

The Monarchs and Bruins will rematch at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Saturday, November 2.

Check out some of the fight highlights…

Follow @AndyTonge1 for more Monarchs news and notes.

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  1. [...] a game recap and video highlights from Friday’s action between the Monarchs and Bruins, click here. Manchester had big nights from Pearson and Weal, plus three fights in the second [...]