The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, made a roaring comeback to defeat the Hershey Bears after having a 3-0 deficit Saturday night.

          The Manchester Monarchs started the important game riding on a 3-game losing streak while the Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, have lost 3 of their last 5 games. Both teams needed the points as Hershey dropped to 8th in the Eastern Conference for the Calder Cup Playoffs after their 3-2 SO loss Friday night against a strong Connecticut Whale team. Bears head coach, Mark French, decided to put Philipp Grubauer in while opposing Monarchs coach, Mark Morris, put Martin Jones in for the second straight game. Once the puck dropped the Monarchs controlled the first half of the period until Monarchs center Linden Vey, who is 3rd in the league for assists, went to the box for hooking at 9:21 of the first period. The monarchs did hit the both cross bars on the goal but didn’t go in after further review. Once Hershey got there extra man on the ice they were piling shot on Jones left and right but couldn’t capitalize on their power play. Then at 15:50 of the first period Monarchs defenseman, Andrew Bodnarchuk, went off for cross-checking, Hershey soon got on the board with a tip-in from Bears center, Ryan Potulny, past Jones at 16:17 of the first. The Bears would tack on another goal with just 9 seconds to go in the period by Bears’ Boyd Kane. Kane reached a milestone by scoring giving him his 500th career point in the American Hockey League. At the end of the first Hershey led the shot total with 11 while the Monarchs only had 7.

          When second period started the Monarchs were showing strength keeping the puck in there zone the most of the period. Potulny collected another goal and 4:13 of the first period to beat Jones with a wide open left side. The Monarchs comeback started at 6:16 of the second period when Monarchs center Andy Andreoff got his 10th of the year with a turnaround shot from the bottom of the circle to beat Grubauer. The Monarchs controlled most the game from here. At 9:46 of the second period, Colton Yellowhorn of the Monarchs got his 5th of the year, after be recalled by the Monarchs from the Ontario Reign. Yellowhorn led the ECHL in who had 36 goals halfway through his season. Colton collected a beautiful pass from Brandon Kozun, which is arguably the goal of the year for the Monarchs. The Monarchs would end up putting another on the board to tie it up at 3-3 when Bears defenseman, Garret Stafford, went to the penalty box for cross-checking giving the Monarchs a power play opportunity with 1:20 remaining in the second. It looked like the second would be over but with 0.01 seconds to go Monarchs center Jordan Weal took a shot from the bottom left point went off Grubauer and in. The Monarchs led the shot in the second 17-8.

          The Monarchs opened the scoring at 13:37 mark of the third with another goal from Yellowhorn who tapped it in out of mid-air past Grubauer, who thought that should have been no goal since Kozun was in the crease. In less than two minutes from that goal, Linden Vey scored his first of the night less than 1:11 after Yellowhorn’s goal giving the Monarchs a 5-3 lead and 5 unanswer goals. Only 1:55 after Vey scored the Bears finally answered with a goal from Peter Leblanc, cutting the Monarchs lead by one. Bears made a time-out and pulled Grubauer for an empty net to the Monarchs. The bears put shots on Jones with less than a minute to go. The Monarchs finally got the puck out of there zone and Vey stuffed the puck in for the empty-netter sealing the comeback victory 6-4. The three stars all came from the Monarchs, third was Kozun with 2 assists, second was Vey with 2 goals and a much deserving first star, Yellowhorn who had2 goals on the night.

          The Bears fell to 30-25-3 and are still 8th in the Eastern Conference and the Monarchs improve to 30-27-2 and are 2 points out of 8th of the Eastern Conference playoff race, they will play Sunday afternoon against the Worcester Sharks. The Manchester Monarchs will play Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH against the St. Johns IceCaps (26-33-1) who find themselves 14th in the Eastern Conference. With a Monarchs win and a Bears loss the monarchs can propel themselves into 8th in the Eastern Conference.


Justin Cummings

nascar59@comcast.netMonarchs overcome 3-0 deficit to win