BOX SCORE - MONARCHS 3, SOUND TIGERS 2
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Mar. 15, 2013) - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers battled back with two goals in the third period to tie the game at two, but referee Jamie Koharski’s kneeing call on defenseman Dallas Jackson gave Manchester a power play with 1:54 left in regulation, and Nick Deslauriers scored 10 seconds later to give the Manchester Monarchs a 3-2 win at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night. With the win, Manchester improves to 29-24-3-4. The Sound Tigers’ five-game point streak comes to an end as they fall to 25-25-5-4.
Down 2-0 midway through the third period, the Sound Tigers got on the board with 10:17 remaining when Jordan Hill banked a rebound off of Manchester goaltender Martin Jones. The Sound Tigers dictated play throughout the third period, outshooting the Monarchs 13-6 in the final frame, and drew even with 5:01 left in regulation when Mike Halmo buried a rebound from Johan Sundstrom’s shot to tie the game at two.
Five minor penalties were called in a span of 6:54 midway through the second period, but no power plays were awarded to either team from that point on, until Koharski’s kneeing call on Jackson after he collided with a Monarch at the Sound Tigers blue line.
On the ensuing Monarchs power play, defenseman Matt Donovan dove to block a pass through the slot, but the puck went right to Deslauriers who sent a shot past Rick DiPietro to give Manchester a 3-2 lead. The Sound Tigers pulled DiPietro in favor of the extra attacker in the final minute, but could not find the equalizer. Manchester was given twice as many power plays as Bridgeport on Friday night, going 2-for-8 on the man-advantage while the Sound Tigers were 0-for-4.
Friday’s game was the second time the two teams met in Manchester in nine days, and the first period was a mirror image of last Wednesday contest. DiPietro made his biggest save of the period in the final seconds, sticking the right pad out to deny Andy Andreoff’s deflection on a back-door pass, and the Sound Tigers and Monarchs finished the first period scoreless.
DiPietro and Jones continued to be the stars of the show in the middle frame, when five minor penalties were called in less than seven minutes. DiPietro made a pair of big saves on a Manchester 5-on-3 power play, and Jones countered with saves on Nino Niederreiter and Brock Nelson from point-blank range on the ensuing Bridgeport man-advantage.
The Monarchs finally broke the scoreless tie with 7:53 left in the middle period. Colton Yellow Horn carried the puck on into the zone on a rush during a Manchester power play, and Anthony Stewart fired Yellow Horn’s cross-ice pass at the right post past DiPietro as he slid to his left to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. DiPietro continued to make big saves towards the end of the period, stopping Jordan Weal on a wraparound and denying Brian O’Neill on a shorthanded breakaway to hold the deficit to one goal.
David Kolomatis gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead 1:21 into the final period, sending a shot that deflected off of Sean Backman past DiPietro. Hill’s tally to put the Sound Tigers on the board was his third goal of the season, while Halmo netted his fifth goal of his rookie campaign.
DiPietro made 23 saves in the loss as his record moves to 3-3-0. Jones stopped 29 shots for the Monarchs to earn his 19th win.
The Sound Tigers continue their three-in-three weekend tomorrow evening when they travel to Giant Center to face the Hershey Bears at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: The Sound Tigers dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen in the game; Jordan Hill took shifts at both forward and defense … Bridgeport traveled 11 forwards for tonight’s game and tomorrow’s game in Hershey, Marc Cantin was the only healthy scratch … Halmo scored against Manchester last Wednesday, and has four goals in his last 11 games … Hill skated up as a forward at times, and was on a line with Niederreiter and Backman for his goal … DiPietro has allowed three goals or less in each of his last five starts.
1. MCH: Nick Deslauriers
2. MCH: David Kolomatis
3. BRI: Jordan Hill
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
14 Matt Watkins (C) – 29 Brock Nelson – 16 Sean Backman
40 Mike Halmo – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 22 Nino Niederreiter
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley (A)
32 Adam Huxley – 77 Kirill Kabanov
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart (A)
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry
2 Dallas Jackson – 8 Nathan McIver
25 Jordan Hill
39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
30 Kenny Reiter