Highlights and notes from Manch – Forbort, Kozun and Weal

Late Friday afternoon, defenseman Derek Forbort, the Kings first round draft pick in 2010, agreed to terms with the club and will leave the University of North Dakota after three seasons. He is expected to arrive in Manchester later today and will join the Monarchs for the remainder of the season. We’ll have more on this story later this weekend (or click here for additional notes).

There was still a game to be played Friday night though, and here’s what went down…

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

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs fell to the Portland Pirates, 4-2, in the final game of the VIP Cup, presented by VIP Tires and Service, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.

Manchester (31-30-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 69 points. Portland (38-25-3-2) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 81 points.

“That was a winnable game” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “At this point in season we have to be better defensively and make better decision. We worked hard but not smart. I was hoping for a better result.”

The Pirates sealed the victory with a goal from left wing Darian Dziurzynski at 13:18 of the third period. Portland center Justin Feser skated down the right wing and into the right wing corner playing the puck to right wing Jordan Szwarz in the right wing face-off circle for a quick wrist shot. The Pirates right wing’s shot was denied by Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones but Dziurzynski collected the rebound on the left door step to tip it into an open net goal for the goal.

Left wing Hunter Bishop opened the scoring for the Monarchs at 9:49 of the first period with a partial breakaway goal. Right wing Brian O’Neill connected with Bishop on the rightwing boards in the neutral zone. Bishop skated down the ice getting around the Pirates defense and to the front of the net. Bishop squeezed a puck five-hole on Pirates goaltender Mike Lee for the goal. Defenseman Andrew Campbell was also credited with an assist on the Bishop’s second goal of the season.

Portland tied the game at 1-1 with 16:48 left in the second period with a goal from Portland right wing Brett Hextall. Pirates center Jordan Martinook brought the puck down the right wing boards and into the corner before passing to Dziurzynski at the doorstep of Jones. Dziurzynski fired the puck across the top of the crease to Hextall at the left doorstep. Hextall punched the puck to the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season.

The Pirates took a 2-1 lead with a goal from right wing Phil Lane’s ninth goal of the season with 1:24 remaining in the second period. After defenseman Mathieu Brodeur kept the puck in the Monarchs zone after a failed clearing attempt by Manchester, he passed the puck to Szwarz just inside the center point. Jones made a pad save on Szwarz’s slap shot but Lane collected the puck in the slot. Lane then skated to the left doorstep before shooting a backhand past Jones for the goal.

The Monarchs tied the game at 2-2 with a goal from center Jordan Weal at 4:07 of the third period. Manchester right wing Brandon Kozun took a feed from left wing Colton Yellow Horn at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Kozun skated out in between the top of the face-off circles before playing the puck back to Weal at the bottom of the left wing face-off circle. Weal took the puck and went top shelf from the left doorstep scoring his 12th goal of the season.

Lane capped off the scoring with an empty net goal at 1:08 of the third period. Lane scored his second goal of the night after collecting the puck in the neutral zone, skating around two defenders and firing a shot from the top of the left wing face-off circle. Portland center Andy Miele was credited with an assist on Lane’s 10th goal of the season.

Jones (21-24-4) took his 24th loss of the season making 22 saves on 25 shots. Lee (8-4-0) earned his eighth victory of the season making saves on 24-of-26 shots.

Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.

Notables: The Pirates won the inaugural VIP Cup 7-5…Monarchs left wing Colton Yellow Horn has five points (2-3=5) in his last five games…Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones has started 21 of the last 22 games.

The Monarchs will host the Providence Bruins on Saturday evening, then play a road game on Sunday.

To see where Jones and Kozun were slotted in the most recent edition of the LA Kings Top 10 Prospect Rankings, click here.

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  1. Article does not really tell the story of last night which could be simply the worst game of the season for the Monarchs. It also might well be the game they needed to win to make the playoffs. This team should return Yellow Horn to Ontario and let Justin Johnson play every remaining game. This team from the coaching staff to the players did not play up to standards. Morris was unable to bring the team up for each game as necessary and losing Pelly was a huge part of that problem. Many changes are necessary for this team. All the Kings that came from Manchester and sadly we are not in a huge position to send many more up. This team needs serious rebuilding.

  2. I understan that the cupboards have been raided in Manch, but Yellow Horn is AHL material. Not sure why you’d want to send a guy with a scoring knack back down to Ontario, and then proceed to log a complaint on how the team needs rebuilding. The Kings have a ton of draft picks this year. So Manch will see an influx of young talent next season. Forbert will help on the blue line and the penalty kill. Nick Ebert will be up there in the next couple years. Help is on the way.

  3. For some reason, I thought one of your tweets said that Yellow Horn had been listed on the Ontario Reign playoff roster. Did I read that wrong?

    Do you think Yellow Horn will be signed to Manch? He seems to be doing very well in Manchester so I’m curious what you think.

    And as far as development, is Jones still ahead of Berube? Kings are lacking goalie depth right now so I’m just wondering how their depth is developing. Everything I’ve read indicates that Martin Jones is nowhere close to NHL ready but your tweets say good things about Berube.