WORCESTER, Mass. – The Manchester Monarchs scored four times in the first period and bounced back against the Worcester Railers, with a 7-4 win Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center.
The Monarchs (33-26-2-2) and the Worcester Railers (29-24-5-4) split the weekend series, with each team winning in the opponent’s barn, ending with a 7-4 Monarchs win.
The Monarchs struck first on the 24th goal of the season by Kevin Dufour at 1:56 of the first period. Pierre-Luc Mercier took a shot from the blue line, that bounced in front of the net, where Dufour gathered the puck and beat Railers goaltender, Mitch Gillam, making the score, 1-0.
Manchester extended their lead at 8:28 of the first period on the 28th goal of the season by Nic Pierog, shorthanded. Pierog broke out of his defensive zone and went in on a breakaway, where he slid the puck under the pad of Gillam, making the score, 2-0.
Manchester made it a three-goal game at 15:46 of the first period on the fifth goal of the season by Matheson Iacopelli. Stepan Falkovsky fired a shot from the high slot, that was tipped in front by Iacopelli, past Gillam, to give Manchester a 3-0 lead.
The Monarchs continued to pour it on as Pierog scored his second of the game and 29th of the season at 16:27 of the first period. Mercier sent a shot off the end-wall, where Pierog picked up the rebound and backhanded a shot past Gillam, ending the goaltender’s night and making the score, 4-0.
Worcester got on the board at 5:04 of the second period on the sixth goal of the season by Ryan MacKinnon. Mackinnon received a pass in the slot and snuck a shot under the pad of Monarchs goaltender Charles Williams, to make the score, 4-1.
Manchester regained their four-goal lead at 12:42 of the second period, when Nic Pierog completed the hat trick and netted his 30th goal of the season. Tony Cameranesi took a slap shot from the point, where the rebound came to Pierog and he snapped a shot past Railers goaltender, Blake Wojtala, making the score, 5-1.
The Railers pulled closer with a goal by Matthew Gaudreau at 14:24 of the second period, scoring his 11th of the season. Josh Holmstrom centered a pass for Gaudreau on the rush, where he tipped it past Williams, to make the score, 5-2.
Worcester made it a two-goal game at 19:27 of the second period on the 22nd goal of the season by Barry Almeida. Tyler Barnes sent a pass to Almeida as the trailer on an odd-man rush, where Almeida wristed a shot past the blocker of Williams, to make the score, 5-3.
Worcester came within one goal at 3:04 of the third period on the fifth goal of the season by David Quenneville. Quenneville wristed a shot from the right point, beating Williams, making the score, 5-4.
Chris Carlisle and Nic Pierog added empty-net goals, giving Pierog four goals on the day and giving the Monarchs a 7-4 victory.
The Monarchs return to action Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m., when they take on the Newfoundland Growlers at SNHU Arena. For tickets, Season Memberships and group tickets, please contact the Monarchs front office at 603-626-7825.
Visit us at ManchesterMonarchs.com, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram: @MonarchsHockey, and like us on Facebook for additional information.
Photo Credit: Rich Miyara - NH Sports Photography