10/18/2013 8:53 PM
HARTFORD, CT – The Manchester Monarchs gave up two goals, 24-seconds apart, in the third period and then fell in the shootout, 4-3, to the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center on Friday night.
Manchester (3-0-0-2) leads the Atlantic Division with eight points. Hartford (4-0-0-1) leads the Northeast Division with nine points.
"Tonight’s effort boils down to lack of focus to compete the full 60 minutes," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "There were several chances for us to seal the deal. That didn’t materialize. Instead, we squandered some chances to ice the game. There were some good parts to our game but not enough. In the end, stubborn bad habits and an unwillingness to defend at a critical time of the contest spoiled a glorious opportunity to beat a good veteran team. Our coaching staff needs to find a better way to convince everyone to defend first and battle to the wire for the good of the team. It’s unacceptable to cheat and fall asleep when we preach the value of defense within our systems of team play.
“Tomorrow is a new day; time to rebound and start fresh. We need to smarten up. This team is better than the way we played tonight. We let this one slip away.”
Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones halted center Oscar Lindberg, right wing Danny Kristo and right wing Arron Asham in the shootout. Left wings Marek Hrivik and Brandon Mashinter were able to sneak the puck past Jones. Wolf Pack netminder Cam Talbot stopped center Jordan Weal, right wing Tyler Toffoli, left wing Tanner Pearson and center Linden Vey. Right wing Brandon Kozun is the lone goal scorer for the Monarchs in the shootout.
Toffoli puts the Monarchs on the scoreboard with his team-leading third tally of the season at 9:45 of the first period. Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk carried the puck into the neutral zone along the left wing. He fed the puck up to Vey as the forward crossed the Wolf Pack’s blueline. Vey centered a pass to Toffoli who was skating just inside the center point. The right wing wristed a shot five-hole on Talbot.
Kristo tied the game at 1-1 with his third goal of the season at 15:56 of the opening frame. Defenseman Conor Allen sent a pass from the right wing half wall to Kristo at the left point. With traffic in front of Jones, Kristo fired a slap shot through bodies and into the back of the net. Left wing Chris Kreider also picked up an assist on the tying goal.
The Monarchs took a 2-1 lead with an unassisted goal by Pearson at 1:11 of the middle stanza. Pearson broke up a pass inside the Monarchs zone, took off through the neutral zone, and skated in all alone on Talbot. The second year left wing wristed a shot inside the left post for his second tally of the season.
Rookie defenseman Colin Miller scored his first professional goal, a power play tally, at 14:41 of the second period to give the Monarchs a 3-1 advantage. Cycling the puck on the power play, defenseman Nick Deslauriers handed the puck off to Toffoli at the center point. Toffoli faked a shot before sending a pass to Miller in the left face-off circle for a one-timer into the top left corner of the net.
The Wolf Pack tallied two goals 24 second apart in the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Skating 4-on-4, defenseman Aaron Johnson battled with a Monarchs player behind the net before sending the puck to Mashinter at the left point. Mashinter faked a shot and sent the puck to Hrivik at the bottom of the right face-off circle. Hrivik one-timed the puck into the net for his first goal of the season.
At 14:29 of the final period, Johnson collected his first goal of the season, a shorthanded tally, at 14:29 of the third period. Left wing Ryan Bourque carried the puck down the right wing of the Monarchs zone and put the brakes on at the half-wall. Bourque centered the puck to defenseman Danny Syvret who fired a shot on net. Jones made the pad save and then a second save on a point blank shot by left wing Michael Haley. Johnson was on the left doorstep to tuck in the rebound and tie the game.
Vey was awarded a penalty shot at 4:36 of overtime when he was slashed on a breakaway. Talbot made a pad save on Vey’s backhand shot to keep the game tied at 3-3.
Jones (3-0-2) took his second shootout loss of the season stopping 29-of-32 shots and 3-of-5 shootout snipers. Talbot (3-0-1) earned his second shootout win of the season making 29 saves on 32 shots and stopping four shooters in the shootout.
Manchester was 1-for-7 on the power play. Hartford went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: Four of the Monarchs first five games this season have gone to a shootout…Manchester has a 2-2 record in shootouts this season…The team remains undefeated in regulation through five games…Center Linden Vey was awarded their 34th penalty shot in franchise history; the Monarchs have scored seven goals on 34 opportunities for a 20.6% rating in penalty shots.
The Monarchs return to Verizon Wireless Arena for their Home Opener against the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIRAM.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.