MANCHESTER, N.H – The Manchester Monarchs now have won five of their last six games, but Saturday’s win may have been their first “comprehensive” win in nearly two weeks.
Manchester dominated the visiting Adirondack Thunder, building their lead atop the ECHL North Division with an 8-3 victory.
The Monarchs got off to a good start, submitting a first period that was near perfect outside of a goal scored by Adirondack’s Blake Thompson.
Thompson’s goal was countered by goals by Spencer Watson, Zac Lynch and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman.
That first period saw the Monarchs outshoot the Thunder 20-9, moving reversing a recent trend that saw them significantly outshot throughout most of January’s contests.
LaVallee-Smotherman added a second goal after the first intermission, almost unexpectedly deflecting off his stick. Dylan Olsen followed later in the period with a power play goal to get the Thunder back within two, but Alexx Privatera would build Manchester’s lead back to three with a goal 15:22 into the second period.
Monarchs captain David Kolomatis added another goal on a two-man breakaway 1:10 into the third period and Brian Ward would add a goal for Adirondack before Watson connected with LaVallee-Smotherman to complete the Oregon native’s first ECHL hat trick.
Matt Schmalz later added a goal for Manchester to complete the score line.
With their goals, Watson and LaVallee-Smotherman have now scored in their last three games, with LaVallee-Smotherman’s 25 goals tied for third in the league.
“It was just a fun game all around,” said LaVallee-Smotherman. “I thought we finally came out and had the start we were talking about. Over the last few games we’ve been pretty flat, so having a good start was big.”
With the win, Manchester goes four points above Adirondack, Reading and Wheeling in the North Division standings.
The Monarchs return to the ice next Saturday at SNHU Center in a 7 p.m. contest against the South Carolina Stingrays.