After a lack of scoring in their home opener, the Manchester Monarchs regained their offensive touch on Friday night, defeating the visiting Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 5-2.
Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman scored two first period goals, both assisted by Matt Leitner and Eric Schurhamer.
Tony Turgeon added an early second period goal shortly after losing Colton Saucerman to the penalty box and Joel Lowry would add another shorthander after a power play goal at the 10:47 mark in the third period.
An optimist can note that Lowry’s power play goal was the Monarchs’ first since Oct. 17 against Brampton, but a pessimist can note that the Monarchs had seven fruitless power play opportunities on the night, putting them at just a 10.8 percent power play success rate so far on the year, second worst in the ECHL’s North Division.
On top of that, Greenville came into the night with the league’s worst penalty-killing unit, allowing nine power play goals before Friday night’s contest.
While the power play remains a weakness, getting opportunities on net remains a strength for Manchester, outshooting Greenville 48-34, continuing their six-game shots on goal advantage streak.
Charles Williams earned his third win of the year in net for the Monarchs, with only goals from Caleb Herbert and Sergey Zborovskiy separating him from getting his first shutout since joining Manchester last March.
Manchester (3-2-0-1) and Greenville (1-3-1-0) meet again this evening at the SNHU for a 6 p.m. contest. From there, the Monarchs travel to Norfolk for a three-game set against the Norfolk Admirals, beginning with a 7 p.m. puck drop on Wednesday.