MANCHESTER, NH – It certainly wasn’t a flawless win, but it was a win for the Manchester Monarchs on Wednesday night as they returned from West Virginia with a 5-3 victory over the Brampton Beast.
The first period saw both teams struggle to establish a rhythm, but Manchester blinked first.
That initial major mistake was a poor pass by Monarchs defenseman Colton Saucerman intercepted by Brampton’s David Ling quickly transformed into an easy tap-in for Beast forward Vincent Dunn.
Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman would equalize the contest just over five minutes later with a quick wrister from the left faceoff circle.
The Monarchs would take the lead later in the period thanks to a goal from Spencer Watson, but Brampton’s Daniel Ciampini tied up the contest once again just seconds later.
Francois Beauchemin provided Manchester with their second lead of the night before the period’s conclusion, finishing a breakaway with a angled shot wrapping around the leg of Brampton goaltender Andrew D’Agostini.
Dunn caught the Monarchs off guard again just a few moments into the second period, but Monarchs captain David Kolomatis immediately concluded the game’s first power play with a blue line slap shot, giving Manchester their third lead of the night.
Matt Schmalz added an insurance goal seven minutes into the third period, his 14th of the year.
Manchester goaltender Charles Williams ended with 38 saves as well as the first assist this season for any Monarchs goaltender.
Much like Saturday night, the Monarchs were out shot by a 2-to-1 margin, with Williams almost perfect outside of the mental errors on Dunn’s goals.
But outside of Williams’ performance, it was an evening intersected between brief brilliance and mental lapses.
“It’s always nice to get two points at home and Charles Williams stood tall for us, but there wasn’t much else I liked about this game,” said Manchester head coach Richard Seeley. “I will say I like our team’s willingness to block shots, that’s key, but otherwise we weren’t sharp.”
With the win, Manchester once again rises to the top of the ECHL North Division standings with 56 points, two points clear of idle Wheeling and Adirondack.
The Monarchs face off against the Beast again on Friday at 7 p.m.