Keeping Up With The Joneses
MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Martin Jones matched a season-high record with 45 saves for the Manchester Monarchs as they defeated the Worcester Sharks, 4-1, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday evening.
Manchester (17-9-1-1) won their 17th game of the season to remain in first place in the Atlantic Division with 36 points. Worcester (13-8-1-4) dropped their eighth game of the season and moved into third place in the Atlantic Division with 31 points.
"The band started us off on the right note,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris in reference to the Londonderry High School Lancers Marching Band’s performance of the National Anthem. “I thought this was a real solid game for us. We weathered the storm when we had penalties out of the gate.”
“We were stronger on the puck tonight than how we’ve been. Corey Elkins had a great game,” said Morris. “[Goaltender Martin] Jones has a calming influence in the net and he stood his ground.”
Left wing Dwight King scored his eighth goal of the season, the game-winning goal, at 11:08 of the second period. Right wing Brandon Kozun won the initial puck battle in the left wing corner. A quick dish back to the left point connected with defenseman Thomas Hickey. Sending the puck along the blueline, Hickey hooked up with defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov at the right point. Voynov wristed a pass wide of the left post, where a streaking King tapped the puck into the left side of the net.
Defenseman Matt Irwin scored his fourth goal of the season at 3:45 of the first period. Entrenched in the offensive zone on the power play, center Andrew Desjardins dished the puck back to the right point where defenseman Sean Sullivan was stationed. Sullivan found his defensive partner at the right point and a powerful blast by Irwin traveled to the bottom left corner of the net and wrapped around the inside of the goal.
Skating on the power play, center Corey Elkins scored his seventh goal of the season at 18:29 of the first period. Defenseman David Kolomatis, positioned at the right point, connected with center Justin Azevedo at the left point. A powerful blast on net was turned aside by Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock. The rebound spilled out to Elkins positioned at the left post. Two swipes at the puck caused it to trickle past Stalock for the game-tying goal.
Center Marc-Andre Cliche scored his sixth goal of the season at 6:08 of the third period. Voynov was positioned at the top of the left face-off circle when he sent a feed toward the right post. King collected the feed at the post and sent a pass across the crease to Cliche, who tapped the puck home to give the Monarchs a 3-1 advantage.
Elkins scored his second goal of the contest at 7:38 of the third period. Defenseman Patrick Mullen, at the left point, sent the puck to the left wing corner where Elkins was standing. Skating behind the net and toward the right wing boards, Elkins passed the puck to left wing Richard Clune, standing at the front corner of the trapezoid, and continued his roundabout route following the pass. After circling Clune, Elkins skated back toward the goal crease and received the pass back from the left winger. Carrying the puck into the left face-off circle, Elkins sniped the puck top shelf past Stalock for his eighth goal of the season.
Jones (7-1-0) collected his seventh victory of the season, making 45 saves on 46 shots on goal. Stalock (12-9-2) dropped his ninth game of the season, halting 21-of-25 shots on goal. Goaltender Carter Hutton relieved Stalock after Elkins’ second goal, stopping both shots on goal he faced.
Manchester went 2-for-6 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester has been outshot 93-to-62 over the last two games, but has held their opponent to only three goals…The Monarchs are now 10-0-0-0 when leading after two periods of play at the Verizon Wireless Arena…Goaltender Martin Jones’ 45 saves match goaltender Jeff Zatkoff’s 45 saves from Sunday’s game against Providence…During the third period, Jones faced a season-high 22 shots on goal alongside a season-high 22 saves in one period…Jones extends his winning streak to five games, as he is unbeaten dating back to November 20…Center Corey Elkins collected his second two-goal game of his record; he registered two goals against the Binghamton Senators on November 14, 2009.
The Monarchs return to action on Saturday, December 11 when they travel to Hartford to face-off against the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center in a 7:00 p.m. contest. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGAM 900/1250 AM and at www.manchestermonarchs.com.