Highlights and notes from Manch – nobody can slow Kozun down

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

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Max’s Star Wars Birthday at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday night.

Manchester (28-24-3-4) is in third in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (32-25-2-1) is third in the East Division with 67 points.

“The outcome is a disappointment because we had a three-goal lead,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We should have had this one in our grasp. Turnovers aloud a tired team to stay in the game. Injuries are mounting and we were exposed in areas that we are inexperienced.”

Center Riley Holzapfel and center Trevor Smith scored for the Penguins in the shootout. Penguins netminder Jeff Zatkoff denied center Jordan Weal, center Andy Andreoff, right wing Brandon Kozun and left wing Colton Yellow Horn. Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones denied center Chad Kolarik and center Jayson Megna.

Kozun opened up the scoring with a 5-on-3 power play goal 7:56 into the first period. Center Linden Vey took the puck to the top of the slot before forwarding the puck to defenseman Bryan Rodney at the bottom of the right wing face-off circle. Rodney brought the puck up into the center of the right face-off circle and passed to Kozun at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Kozun one-timed the puck for his 22nd goal of the season.

Just over 3 minutes later, right wing Stefan Legein put the Monarchs up 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at 10:40 of the first period. Legein took a long range feed from defenseman Andrew Campbell, receiving the puck at center ice along the left wing. The forward brought the puck up the left wing boards, cut through the face-off circle and took rebound and banged it home for his fifth goal of the season.

The Monarchs tallied their second shorthanded goal of the night when center Robbie Czarnik put Manchester up 3-0 at 7:21 of the second period. After a slap shot at the top of the left wing face-off circle from defenseman Vincent LoVerde produced a rebound behind the Penguins net, Czarnik collected the rebound and wrapped around to the front of the cage and popped the puck over Zatkoff’s left skate for his fourth goal of the season. Vey also tallied an assist on the goal.

The Penguins grabbed their first goal of the night from Kolarik at 16:11 of the second period. Holzapfel gained the Monarchs zone and took a slap shot from the left point. Kolarik tipped the puck behind Jones from the slot for his 22nd goal of the season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton pulled within a goal at 3-2 with a tally by left wing Bobby Farnham at 16:39 of the second period. With a large scrum in front of the Monarchs net, Farnham skated in and jammed the puck just across the goal line for the goal. Forward Adam Payerl and center Zach Sill tallied assists on Farnham’s third goal of the season.

Center Andy Andreoff brought the score to 4-2 with a third period goal at 5:28. Czarnik fed Vey as he entered the Penguins zone. Vey carried the puck and dropped it to Andreoff in the left wing face-off circle before. Andreoff brought the puck across the net and backhanded it past Zatkoff for his ninth goal of the season.

The Penguins brought the game to within a goal at 10:03 of the third period with a goal by Sill. Sill intercepted a pass in the Monarchs zone and rifled off a wrist shot producing a rebound in front of the net. Sill was able to collect the rebound and power it past Jones for the unassisted goal.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied the score at 4-4 with a 4-on-4 goal from defenseman Dylan Reese at 15:50 of the third period. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin fed Kolarik in the Monarchs zone. Kolarik skated into the left wing face-off circle before finding Reese in between the face-off circles. Reese skated in and roofed a wrist shot high over the glove of Jones for his fifth goal of the season.

Jones (18-19-4) took his fourth shootout loss of the season stopping 30-of-34 shots in regulation and 2-of-4 shootout snipers. Zatkoff (19-17-0) earned his 19th victory of the season making 24 saves on 28 shots in regulation and stopped all four shootout attempts.

Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Notables: The Monarchs have recorded points in their last eight games (6-0-1-1)…The Monarchs scored two shorthanded goals for the first time this season…Right wing Brandon Kozun has 11 goals in his last 12 games…Monarchs center Linden Vey tallied three assists in the game marking his fourth game this season in which he has recorded at least three points.

The Monarchs will get the week off now and return to action on Friday when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers – AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.

Earlier this season, Legein served as a pseudo reporter for MayorsManor during one of the team’s road trips. If you missed his thoughts, click here to read ‘A prospects journal: What life is really like out on the road.’

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About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.

Comments

  1. On the one hand I’m happy for Toffoli, but on the other hand, Monarchs are struggling as it is so this will really hurt lol. Or not. Maybe they can live without their sniper? (Kings certainly can’t…)