AHL: Weal nets two in Monarchs victory

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

GLENS FALLS, NY – The Manchester Monarchs solved their special team troubles as they collected two power play goals in a 5-3 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms at Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday night.

Manchester (18-5-1-4) leads the Atlantic Division with 41 points.  Adirondack (12-11-0-2) is tied with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (11-12-1-3) for third place in the Northeast Division with 26 points each.

“Our first period energy and execution might have been the best we’ve had for a 20-minute span this season,” said Head Coach Mark Morris.  “We were able to hem Adirondack in their own end for long periods of time and had some great chances because of it.  For the better part of the night, we skated, banged, took the body, and we executed on the power play.  Both Nick Deslauriers and Andy Andreoff had strong games.  Both players won their scraps when they were challenged to drop their gloves.  Hopefully, we can build on the positives and tidy up the few mistakes we saw late when the game was out of reach.  It was a good win and a welcomed two-pointer on the road.”

Center Jordan Weal tallied his fifth goal of the season at 5:23 of the second period to advance the Monarchs lead to 3-0.  Stealing the puck from a Phantoms player, right wing Brandon Kozun found Weal in the high slot for a one-timer that beat Phantoms netminder Cal Heeter for his team-leading 22nd point of the season.

Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk scored a power play goal at 5:29 of the first period to give the Monarchs a 1-0 advantage.  Cycling the puck in the Phantoms zone, forward Nick Shore was in the left face-off circle and slid the puck to defenseman Colin Miller at the left point.  Miller passed the puck over to Bodnarchuk at the top of the right face-off circle for a one-timer that beat Heeter for his fifth goal of the season.

The Monarchs doubled their lead at 18:47 of the opening frame with left wing Nick Deslauriers’ team-leading 10th goal of the season.  Left wing Tanner Pearson picked up the puck in the Monarchs zone and skated up the left wing.  Pearson carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the Phantoms zone before putting on the brakes and sending a pass over to Deslauriers in the right face-off circle.  Winding up for the one-timer, Deslauriers fired the puck into the back of the net to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead.

The Phantoms found their way onto the scoreboard at 6:48 of middle stanza with center Nick Cousins’ fourth goal of the season.  With three players in the low slot and the Monarchs trying to clear the puck, forward Petr Straka lifted the stick of a Manchester defender and defenseman Oliver Lauridsen grabbed the vacant puck.  Lauridsen dropped the puck back to Cousins who was driving to the net through the slot.  Between the hash marks, Cousins snapped a one-timer past a screened Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube.

Right wing Scott Sabourin gave the Monarchs their three goal lead back with his eighth goal of the season at 8:47 of the second period.  Center Cameron Burt sprung Bodnarchuk in the neutral zone.  Bodnarchuk and Sabourin skated into the Phantoms zone on a two-on-one breakaway.  Bodnarchuk dropped the puck back to Sabourin who skated in behind his blueliner and into the slot before firing a slap shot that beat Heeter on his glove side to give the Monarchs a 4-1 lead.

Phantoms goaltender Carsen Chubak replaced Heeter between the pipes following Sabourin’s goal.

Weal collected his second goal of the night and sixth tally of the season at 8:14 of the final frame.  Skating on the power play, the Monarchs cycled the puck in the Phantoms zone.  Adirondack broke up a pass but Burt recovered the puck and sent it over to Weal along the left wing half wall.  Weal carried the puck into the left wing face-off circle before snapping a wrist shot past Chubak for the Monarchs second power play goal of the night.

Adirondack defenseman Cullen Eddy picked up his first goal of the season at 12:04 of the third period.  Lauridsen sent a short pass to Straka behind the Monarchs cage.  Straka passed the puck out to the center point where Eddy blasted a slap shot that beat Berube on his blocker side to bring the score to 5-2 in favor of the Monarchs.

The Phantoms picked up a power play goal of their own at 19:38 of the third period.  Center Ben Holmstrom fired a slap shot from the center point that Berube saved.  Forward Rob Bordson was on the right doorstep to tap in the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.

Berube (9-4-2) earned his ninth win of the season stopping 32-of-35 shots.  Heeter (8-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season making 13 saves on 17 shots.  Chubak (0-0-0) stopped 15-of-16 shots in relief duty.

Manchester was 2-for-6 on the power play.  Adirondack went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

Notables:  The Monarchs ended their power play slump with their first goal over their last 19 attempts spanning the last six games…Manchester has scored two power play goals in a single game twice this season; a 5-3 win against St. John’s on October 26 and a 5-2 win in Providence on November 1…The Monarchs gave up 17 shots in a single period for the fourth time this season; a season high for shots in a period by an opponent…Center Jordan Weal collected two goals in a game for only the second time in his career…Right wing Scott Sabourin has seven points (2-5=7) in his last five games.

The Monarchs return home to the Verizon Wireless Arena to face-off against the Sound Tigers at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15.  The Monarchs are asking fans to bring a stuffed animal to throw onto the ice during the most exciting goal of the season on Sunday with the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss when Manchester scores their first goal of the game.

Follow @AndyTonge1 for more Monarchs news and notes…

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