Monarchs Win 4-1 over Phantoms
Kozun pots two goals in Monarchs victory; Jones stops 32-of-33 shots on net
Manchester (44-25-4-6, 98 points) collected two points with the victory, remaining in second place in the Atlantic Division with 98 points. The Phantoms (30-38-4-6, 70 points) remain in seventh place in the East Division with 70 points.
“I think it was a little bit of a sluggish start – a bit of a feeling out process at the beginning,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. “I thought our first period was pretty strong and it got stronger as the third period went along – I thought our energy was much better and our execution was much better.”
“It was important for ‘Jonesy’ to have a game where we scored him some goals,” when asked about the recent play of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones. “It looked on the clock as though we had a lot of shots against but it didn’t appear to us that they were from dangerous areas – they threw a lot of pucks at the net but they weren’t big threats. Credit our guys for cleaning up any rebounds.”
“With this type of crowd and the support we had tonight, it was an important win for us. It was a carrot for our guys to perform well with our guys celebrating the jerseys off our back – it was a nice way to end the evening,” concluded Morris.
Defenseman Patrick Mullen recorded his third goal of the season, the eventual game-winning goal, at 12:43 of the first period. Entrenched in the slot in front of Adirondack goaltender Johan Backlund, right wing Justin Johnson fed a pass back to Mullen, positioned at the left point. Mullen skated the puck up the boards and deep into the Phantoms zone when he banked a shot off of Backlund that trickled into the back of the net.
Right wing Brandon Kozun scored his 22nd goal of the season at 9:45 of the first period. Right wing Bud Holloway fired a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone to center Corey Elkins. The center carried the puck over the Phantoms blueline and down toward the right face-off dot. Elkins then found Kozun streaking through the slot after skating past the Adirondack defenseman and he fired a quick snap shot over the left shoulder of Backlund for the first goal of the game.
The Phantoms scored their first goal of the night as right wing Mike Testwuide scored his 18th goal of the season at 16:44 of the first period. Left wing Denis Hamel collected a rebound deep in the Manchester zone, then he fed a pass to defenseman Erik Gustafsson who was positioned at the left point. Gustafsson fired a shot on Jones, who could not collect the rebound. Testwuide slapped the bouncing puck into the empty net before Jones could collect the puck, bringing Adirondack to within one goal.
Kozun would score his second goal of the night at 14:36 of the third period. Kozun stripped the puck from an Adirondack defenseman in the Phantoms slot. Kozun continued to dangle as he skated to the right face-off dot where he ripped a wrist shot short side over the shoulder of Backlund for the unassisted tally.
Center John Zeiler would score a shorthanded empty net goal at 19:15 of the third period to add extra insurance toward the winning effort. Defenseman Jake Muzzin gathered the puck in the Manchester zone along the right wing half wall. Muzzin fed a pass to Zeiler who skated up the right wing past the Adirondack defense. After entering the Phantoms zone, Zeiler cut hard toward the net and placed the puck home into the gaping net.
Jones (23-12-1) collected his 23rd win of the season, halting 32-of-33 shots on goal. Backlund (9-18-3) drew his 18th loss of the season, stopping 30-of-33 shots on net.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Adirondack went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Defenseman Patrick Mullen is on a two-game goal streak and has also recorded three points in his last two games (2-1=3)…Mullen also recorded his first professional game-winning goal with his first period marker…With two goals in the contest, right wing Brandon Kozun has recorded his fifth multi-goal game of the season…With an assist this evening, right wing Bud Holloway has recorded eight points in his last six games (3-5=8)…Center John Zeiler is currently riding a two-game goal streak, having recorded a shorthanded goal this evening, his second of the season.