Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings AHL affiliate…
BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Manchester Monarchs overcame a one-goal deficit twice before defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 3-2, on the first ever You Can Play game at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (24-24-2-3) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points. Bridgeport (22-23-3-3) is in fourth place in the Northeast Division with 50 points.
“We bounced back twice after falling behind by a goal to Bridgeport,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Excellent goaltending by Martin Jones and strong penalty killing kept us in it after a penalty filled first period. The eventual game-winning goal came on a power play by Jordan Weal. It’s good to see him get rewarded for his hard work. A late penalty kill sealed the deal. I’m hoping our confidence continues as we move forward. The guys seemed focused and withstood a big push by Bridgeport.”
The Monarchs gained the lead for the first time in the game at 3-2 with a power play goal by center Jordan Weal at 2:32 of the third period. Right wing Brandon Kozun fed Weal at the center point. Weal played the puck defenseman David Kolomatis at the right wing half wall. Kolomatis passed back to Weal at the center point. Weal skated in to between the top of the face-off circles before attempting a wrist shot that was blocked by a Sound Tigers forward. Weal regained control of the puck and wristed a shot high on the stick side of Reiter for the eventual game-winning tally and his eighth goal of the season.
Bridgeport opened the scoring with a goal by defenseman Matt Donovan at 7:45 of the first period. Forward Chad Costello carried the puck off the left wing half wall to the left point. Costello wristed a shot on goal that deflected off bodies in front of the net. Forward Jack Combs fired the loose puck on net from the slot where Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones turned aside producing a rebound on the left doorstep. Donovan slammed the puck to the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
The Monarchs tied the game at 1-1 with a goal by left wing Colton Yellow Horn at 1:52 of the second period. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde took a one-timer from the right point producing a rebound in front of the net. Kozun chipped a bouncing puck to Yellow Horn at the left doorstep. Yellow Horn finished it for his second goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers took a 2-1 lead with a goal by left wing Mike Halmo at 6:27 of the second period. Combs fed Costello at the left wing half wall before he fed Halmo in the top of the right wing face-off circle. Halmo one-timed the pass for his third goal of the season.
Manchester tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal by right wing Tyler Toffoli at 11:31 of the second period. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers took a slap shot from the right point that produced a rebound in front of the net. Left wing Tanner Pearson followed up the rebound with a shot of his own that was denied by Sound Tigers goaltender Kenny Reiter with the puck trickling out to the bottom of the left wing circle. Toffoli was there to settle the puck and wrist a shot top shelf for his 26th goal of the season.
Jones (14-18-3) earned his 14th victory of the season stopping 35-of-37 shots. Reiter (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season making 32 saves on 35 shot.
Manchester went 2-for-6 on the power play. Sound Tigers was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 9-0-0-0 when they score three or more goals on the road this season…Monarchs center Linden Vey had his six-game point streak (3-6=9) snapped…Monarchs right wing Tyler Toffoli is on a five-game point streak (5-3=8)…Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun has four multi-point games in his last five contests.
The Monarchs are back in action today vs. the Portland Pirates, AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.
If you missed Kozun on a recent edition of the MayorsManor show, click here to see what he had to say about his development as an LA Kings prospect, the return of Jordan Nolan to Manchester, his early impressions of a few Monarchs rookies and much more.
How is Weal’s game coming along? Thanks!