Monarchs stomp Bridgeport 7-0
Monarchs record seven goals; Zatkoff earns second shutout of season
Manchester (39-21-2-6, 86 points) remains in second place in the Atlantic Division with 86 points. Bridgeport (21-36-3-5, 50 points) is ranked seventh in the Atlantic Division with 50 points.
“It’s too bad you can’t bank those, a couple of them anyway,” joked Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. “It was a fun game to watch and I dare say that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the “wave” at the Verizon Wireless Arena. It was nice to see the fans having a good time. It was inspirational for our guys.”
“A lot was going our way tonight – if you had the magic formula, you’d be a rich person,” said Morris when asked about the team’s victory. “It was really heart warming, especially to see Jordan Hill and Justin Johnson get on the scoresheet.”
“I think that tonight, we had the puck luck with things going our way,” said Morris. “We came in with a good focus. These are the games that are easy to coach because you just open the door and let them play. We were working hard for one another and we had a solid goaltending effort from Zatkoff.”
Center Justin Azevedo scored his 17th goal of the season at 12:43 of the first period, giving the Monarchs an early 1-0 advantage. After receiving the puck within the right face-off circle, right wing Oscar Moller backhanded a puck to the point where it was gathered by defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov. The blueliner sent the puck to the left point to Azevedo, who fired home a blast from the left point to give Manchester the early lead.
Defenseman Jordan Hill scored his first goal as a member of the Monarchs at 11:47 of the second period. Center Marc-Andre Cliche passed the puck back to the right point where defenseman David Kolomatis wound up for a powerful blast on goal. The defenseman fanned on the puck, but touched it toward the slot for Hill to charge it. From between the hash marks, Hill sniped the top right-hand corner of the goal for his first marker of the season, putting Manchester up 2-0.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin scored his second goal of the season at 12:06 of the second period. Following an offensive zone face-off win by center Corey Elkins, Kolomatis collected the puck at the left point. A quick dish to his right connected with Muzzin at the right point. A powerful blast on goal was unable to be stopped by Bridgeport netminder Joel Martin, as Manchester took a 3-0 lead near the midpoint of the second period.
Moller converted a penalty shot opportunity at 17:52 of the second period, giving the Monarchs a 4-0 lead late in the second period. Moller was tripped up on a breakaway attempt, causing the penalty shot. Skating down the slot, Moller deked the goaltender and buried his opportunity, adding to the Monarchs lead.
Center John Zeiler recorded his fifth goal of the season at 18:15 of the second period, lifting Manchester to a 5-0 lead. Skating into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway, Zeiler passed the puck over to left wing David Meckler. Near the left face-off dot, Meckler wristed a shot on net that was turned aside by Martin. The ensuing rebound was forced home at the top of the crease by Zeiler, giving the Monarchs five unanswered goals to their credit.
Right wing Justin Johnson scored his second goal of the season, a power play goal, at 13:55 of the third period. Entering the Monarchs zone, defenseman Patrick Mullen was tripped up by a Sound Tigers player, drawing a penalty. As play continued with the Monarchs possessing the puck, the upended Mullen sent a short pass backward to Zeiler, crossing the blueline. From the left point, Zeiler connected with Johnson, positioned within the right face-off circle. A soft wrist shot beat Martin top shelf, giving Manchester a large 6-0 lead.
Zeiler scored his second goal of the game at 17:13 of the third period, as Manchester scored their seventh goal of the evening. Voynov forced a turnover in the neutral zone and forced the puck up to Zeiler, entering the offensive zone all alone. A quick backhand-to-forehand stick move slid Martin out of position, granting Zeiler the wide-open right side of the cage for the score.
Zatkoff (16-12-5) earned his 16th victory of the season, stopping all 26 shots on goal. Martin (1-11-1) stopped 24-of-31 shots on net, dropping his 11th decision of the season.
Manchester went 2-for-5 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: With goals 19 seconds apart in the first period, defenseman Jordan Hill and defenseman Jake Muzzin edged out the previous record for consecutive goals, held by right wing Bud Holloway and right wing Brandon Kozun when they recorded goals 25 seconds apart in a 5-4 overtime loss in Springfield on February 18…Hill recorded his first American Hockey League goal in tonight’s contest…The last time Manchester defeated their opponent by seven goals was April 13, 2007 against the Springfield Falcons, whom they edged out by a 7-0 margin…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff recorded his second shutout of the season, stopping all 26 shots on goal…Right wing Oscar Moller scored the first penalty shot goal for Manchester dating back to the home opener on October 16, 2010 when Kozun scored against the Providence Bruins…The Monarchs recorded two shorthanded goals in tonight’s tilt, as Moller and center John Zeiler scored with a player in the penalty box…The last time the Monarchs scored two shorthanded goals in one game was on January 21, 2007 as left wing Noah Clarke and center Matt Ryan scored against the San Antonio Rampage with one less skater.