DULUTH, Ga. – Two points from Yann Sauve and Matt White helped push the Manchester Monarchs past the Atlanta Gladiators, 3-2, Thanksgiving night at the Infinite Energy Arena.
The Monarchs (10-7-0-0) split the two-game series with the Gladiators (9-7-1-0), and won’t play Atlanta again for the rest of the regular season.
Atlanta got on the board first for the second straight game, when Ian Barteaux scored his first goal of the season at 13:49 of the first period. After some offensive-zone pressure by the Monarchs, the Gladiators broke out on a 2-on-1 down the right boards. Brock Higgs drove to the net with the puck and then dropped a pass to a trailing Barteaux, who finished high blocker on Monarchs goalie, Colin Stevens.
The Monarchs fought back to tie the game when Zac Larraza netted his 7th goal of the season at 17:15. Matt Leitner stole a pass coming out of the Gladiators defensive zone at the blue line, skated down the right boards and lifted a backhand saucer pass to Larraza, who flipped a backhand of his own over the right shoulder of Atlanta goaltender, Andy Iles.
Sauve gave the Monarchs their first lead of the night at 13:45 of the second period, scoring his 2nd goal of the season. Sauve took a diagonal pass from Gasper Kopitar at the top of the slot and fired a slap shot that trickled past Iles after hitting two Atlanta sticks on the way to the net.
The Gladiators pulled back to even when Derek Nesbitt notched his 9th of the season just :30 seconds into the third period. Nesbitt launched a slap shot from left point, beating Stevens high blocker.
David Kolomatis put the Monarchs on top for good, scoring his 4th goal of the season at 8:19 of the final frame. After some great movement in the offensive zone on the power play, Kolomatis ripped a wrist shot past Iles from just inside the right face-off circle, giving the Monarchs the 3-2 lead.
Atlanta would pull Iles with under a minute left in the game, but the Gladiators couldn’t muster a shot on Stevens with the man-advantage.
The Monarchs are back on the ice Friday night (7:30 p.m.), when they visit the Norfolk Admirals at Scope Arena, as the Monarchs look to extend their three-game win streak against the Admirals.
- David Kolomatis scored the 40th goal of his professional career
- Matt White’s two assists gives him 135 points in his career
- The Monarchs improved to 7-0-0-0 when leading after two periods
- Manchester has been successful on 19 of their last 20 penalty kills (95 percent)
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