Monarchs close out 2017 with a win

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Charles Williams in the Monarchs’ special New Year’s Eve tuxedo jerseys. (Photo Credit: Rich Tilton)

The Manchester Monarchs concluded the 2017 calendar year on Sunday night with a 4-2 victory at SNHU Arena against the Worcester Railers.

Worcester struck first with a quick rebound transformed into a goal by Nick Saracino early in the second period.

However, they were stymied after that point, not adding to their lead despite a 13-9 shot advantage in the second frame.

Manchester would make the Railers pay for their inability to find the back of the net again, with Michael Doherty and Zac Lynch giving the Monarchs goals before the second intermission.

That lead would remain until 12:51 in the third period when a wrister from Worcester defenceman Patrick McNally knotted up the contest.

The game appeared to be heading into overtime until Manchester’s Matt Schmalz regained the puck near the boards with just under a minute left, giving him not one, but two shots on Worcester goaltender Mitch Gillam.

Schmalz’ second shot turned into his ninth goal of the year and the last goal the Monarchs would need.

Doherty still added an empty netter just a few seconds later in any case to put the cherry on the top of what has been an excellent month for the boys in purple and black.

That empty net goal was Doherty’s eighth of the year, and fifth of the year against Worcester, including a goal in yesterday’s contest against the Railers.

Doherty also added an assist on Lynch’s goal to put him at seven points in his last five games.

With the win, Manchester (21-10-1-1) is now eight points ahead of the Adirondack Thunder, with the Thunder defeating Reading 3-0 an hour earlier in Glens Falls, NY.

The Monarchs will hope to avoid Reading’s fate when they return to Glens Falls to face the Thunder on Wednesday at 7 p.m.