AHL: Deslauriers, Shore score but Monarchs continue to struggle

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

HERSHEY, PA – The Manchester Monarchs fell to their former teammate, right wing Brandon Segal who collected four points (1-3=4), and the Hershey Bears, 6-3, at Giant Center on Sunday evening.

Manchester (23-9-2-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 52 points.  Hershey (15-12-3-3) is ranked fourth in the East Division with 36 points.

Watch game highlights here – https://t.co/m5kWQZurGA

Hershey added to their lead, 4-2, with a shorthanded tally at 1:01 of the second period.  Segal intercepted a pass by the Monarchs and chipped it free into neutral ice.  Left wing Nicolas Deschamps beat a Manchester player in a foot race to pick up the puck and skate into the Monarchs zone.  Deschamps wristed a shot between Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube’s legs for his 10th goal of the season.

The Bears began the flurry of goals at 12:33 of the first period with right wing Dustin Gazley’s first tally of the season.  Skating on the power play, Segal controlled the puck along the right wing half wall before sending a pass down low to center Jeff Taffe who was to the right of the net.  Taffe then found Gazley in the slot for the one-timer that beat Berube for the 1-0 advantage.

Center Peter LeBlanc doubled the Bears lead at 13:42 of the first period.  Left wing Dane Byers battled with a Monarchs player as they skated down the right wing and into the Monarchs zone.  Byers got his stick on the puck and passed it back to LeBlanc who grabbed the biscuit and cut toward the slot.  LeBlanc snapped a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net for his eighth tally of the season.  Gazley assisted on the goal for his second point of the night.

The Monarchs cut the Bears lead in half with defenseman Andrew Campbell’s second goal of the season.  Campbell wristed a shot from the right face-off circle that Bears netminder David Leggio thought he saved.  As Leggio squeezed his pads together and kept his arms in tight, the puck slipped free.  Campbell jammed it over the goal line at 14:06 of the opening frame.  Left wing Tanner Pearson and defenseman Derek Forbort assisted on the Monarchs first goal of the game.

Center Nick Shore tied the game at 2-2 with his sixth goal of the season at 16:04 of the first period.  Cycling the puck on the power play, center Jordan Weal passed the puck from the left face-off circle to right wing Brandon Kozun along the end red line to the left of the goal.  Kozun fired a shot on net that Leggio saved, but Shore skated in and chipped in the rebound from point-blank range to even the score.

The Bears regained their lead with left wing Ryan Stoa’s seventh goal of the season at 18:17 of the opening stanza.  Taffe controlled the puck in the right face-off circle and passed it into the slot.  Segal pushed the pass through the slot and over to Stoa for a one-timer that beat Berube for the Bear’s second power play goal of the game and a 3-2 advantage.

Segal collected his first goal of the game and fourth point to give the Bears a 5-2 lead.  Right wing Casey Wellman sprung Segal who skated down the right wing with a Monarchs defender on his tail.  Segal cut to the slot and flipped a backhand shot over Berube’s right pad for his seventh tally of the season at 4:09 of the middle frame.

Following Segal’s goal, Monarchs netminder Mathias Niederberger replaced Berube between the pipes.

Wellman finished off the Monarchs with a power play goal at 19:21 of the second stanza.  Defenseman Chay Genoway passed the puck to Wellman and then the two swapped positions on the points.  Now positioned at the left point, Wellman snapped a wrist shot that traveled through traffic and past Niederberger on his blocker side for his ninth tally of the season.  Stoa earned his second point of the night on the goal that gave the Bears a 6-2 lead.

Left wing Nick Deslauriers picked up his 13th tally of the season at 19:06 of the third period.  Center Linden Vey fed the puck to right wing Sean Backman in the slot.  Backman passed the puck over to Deslauriers in the right face-off circle for a one-timer that beat Leggio to bring the final score to 6-3.

Berube (14-9-2) took his ninth loss of the season making eight saves on 13 shots.  Niederberger (0-0-0) stopped 13-of-14 shots in relief duty.  Leggio (10-10-2) earned his 10th win of the season, stopping 32-of-35 shots.

Manchester was 1-for-3 on the power play.  Hershey went 3-for-5 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Manchester collected three of a possible six points over the weekend…Left wing Tanner Pearson is on a three-game point streak after collecting five points (2-3=5) this weekend…Pearson and left wing Nick Deslauriers share the team lead with 13 goals each…Center Nick Shore is on a two-game goal streak (2-0=2)…Goaltender J.F. Berube has appeared in 24 consecutive games for the Monarchs…Netminder Martin Jones was returned on loan from the Los Angeles Kings today.

The Monarchs return to the Verizon Wireless Arena to host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 10.

Follow @AndyTonge1 for more Monarchs news and notes.

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