Monarchs Take Down Bridgeport 2-1
Cliche and Meckler make the difference in the shootout
Manchester (11-9-0-1) ranks second in the Atlantic Division with 23 points. The Sound Tigers (10-7-2-1) are in second place in the Northeast Division with 23 points.
“It was no easy task tonight,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I thought our first period was strong, especially down low. Their goaltender was unbelievable all night. They controlled the second period. In the third, we got back to our game. Give credit to (Jeff) Zatkoff and the penalty killers on the 4-on-3 situation in overtime. Our guys blocked shots and stayed in lanes. It was an emotional win. We will have to shake off the bus legs tomorrow and do it all over again.”
Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche and left wing David Meckler scored in the five-round shootout. Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff stopped right wing Tony Romano, right wing Rhett Rakhshani, defensemen Aaron Ness and left wing Tomas Marcinko in the shootout. Right wing Sean Backman scored the lone goal for the Sound Tigers in the shootout. Right wings Jordan Nolan, Brandon Kozun and center Justin Azevedo were denied in the shootout by goaltender Anders Nilsson.
The Monarchs opened the scoring off the stick of Nolan at 5:55 of the third period. Defenseman Patrick Mullen released a slap shot from the right point that was tipped by Kozun producing a rebound in front of Nilsson. Nolan picked up the rebound and wristed it into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers responded just a minute and twenty-five seconds later with a goal when captain center Jeremy Colliton scored his fifth goal of the season. Left wing Tyler McNeely passed the puck out to the right point to defensemen Dylan Reese who wristed a shot toward the net. Zatkoff made the pad save and Colliton flipped the rebound into the net as he fell to the ice at 7:20 of the third period to tie up the game.
Zatkoff (5-2-1) earned his fifth victory of the season stopping 27-of-28 shots in regulation and 4-of-5 shootout snipers. Nilsson (5-2-1) took his third loss of the season making 34 saves on 35 shots in regulation and stopped 3-of-5 shootout attempts.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs won their fifth consecutive game…Manchester is also on a five-game winning-streak at the Verizon Wireless Arena…The Monarchs are 2-0-0-1 in shootouts this season…Monarchs right wing Jordan Nolan has five points in his last four games…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has a four-game winning-streak.