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Monarchs Take Advantage of a Battered Admirals Bunch

Wednesday, December 7th
Monarchs Take Advantage of a Battered Admirals Bunch

MANCHESTER, NH. - The Manchester Monarchs (14-7-1-1) took advantage of a battered Norfolk Admirals (3-14-4-0) on Wednesday, putting up a half-dozen in a 6-3 win.

For the second straight night the Admirals found themselves down one early, as 20-year-old Rihards Bukarts slammed home a rebound for the Monarchs. After Justin Agosta swung way to the outside of the attacking zone, outlasting Gabriel Verpaelst, he put a low and hard shot on net, one that hopped right off the pillows of Knapp and onto Bukarts tape for an early 1-0 lead.

The score would be set back to even by T.J. Foster though, as he picked up right where he left off on Tuesday, hot. After a failed pass attempt by Manchester in their attacking zone, Nick MacNeil quickly corralled the puck and twisted it up ice for the new #19. With time and space, Foster used his speed to enter the Monarchs zone and crank a hefty slap shot into the back of the net to even the score at 1-1.

Before the first period would come to a close the Monarchs would regain their lead though. After smoothly transitioning out of their own end, an initially blocked shot was picked up by Dean Yakura, who slid one through the wickets of Connor Knapp from the slot area. It was Yakura's first goal in his first night with the Monarchs, just being called up on a loan from the Federal Hockey League's Danbury Titans earlier this week.

When the second period got underway, the home team extended their lead to 3-1 by way of Connor Hardowa. The Monarchs had deflected the puck deep into the Norfolk zone, prompting Knapp to come out of his net and play it. After a second of indecisiveness, the netminder shuffled the puck to his left before being bumped into and falling down. The puck squirted out in front and after Manchester missed an empty four-by-six, they were given another opportunity, one they wouldn't miss. For Hardowa, it was his second of the season.

Just over a minute later though, that lead was cut back in half by Jaedon Descheneau. Admirals forward Jeff DiNallo picked up a loose puck in his own end and similarly to the first Norfolk goal, the play was quickly pushed up ice. The Oilers prospect, Descheneau, had a ton of time and space to skate with the puck, and he, just like Foster, picked his spot and buried it past Sam Brittain.

Unfortunately for the Admirals, Connor Knapp's night of tough luck was not over. After working the puck around the offensive end for a few moments, Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis shuffled his way towards the center point and wound up for a drive. The blast deflected off of John Kurtz's shaft, skyrocketing up in the air, unbeknownst to Knapp and fell just over #31's shoulder and into the net. That gave the home team their two goal lead back, one they would extend to three moments later.

Despite having some confusion as to how to escape their own end, a Monarchs defenseman desperately flipped the puck way up, landing all the way down at the opposing blue line. There is where Gabriel Verpaelst and Alex Pompeo had some miscommunication of their own, leaving the puck for Manchester forward Zac Lynch. While the two Admirals defensemen were able to tangle up Lynch, his teammate Tony Turgeon swooped in to pick up the loose change and fire a shot on. Turgeon's effort was shut down by Knapp, but no one picked up Lynch, who was able to free himself and deposit the rebound.

The Admirals would get one final goal on the night, coming from Tuesday's overtime hero John Dunbar. T.J. Foster, of course, played a role in this one as well, keeping in a clearing attempt from the Monarchs down in the attacking zone. The puck found it's way to John Kurtz in between the circles, and his shot went off the pads of Manchester's goalie, setting up a slam dunk rebound for Dunbar's third in two nights. Dunbar now has six goals on the season, tied with Nick MacNeil for most on the team.

Manchester would put the icing on the cake after that though, coming in the form of an empty net goal for Quentin Shore. Just 49 seconds were on the clock when Shore's ninth of the season came with Knapp on the bench, sealing the envelope on a 6-3 win for the home team.

Both teams will have an off day tomorrow before going right back at it against one another on Friday. Game time is set for 7 P.M. and all the action can be heard on 102.1 FM The Tide, as well as watched on ECHL.TV. After that, it's back to Adirondack for the Admirals to conclude the four game road trip.

Next week the Admirals return back to Scope for a three game set against the South Carolina Stingrays. Games will take place on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster.com as well as at the Norfolk Scope box office. For more information on the team, be sure to visit norfolkadmirals.com as well as follow and like the team on all major social media platforms.Box Score

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