The Manchester Monarchs completed a home-and-home sweep of the Worcester Railers on Sunday afternoon, earning a 5-2 victory at SNHU Arena.
Kevin Morris scored the contest’s first goal on a breakaway early in the first period, but neither team could produce much more until after the first intermission.
Almost immediately after the break, Craig Wyzsomirski caught the Railers napping and Cory Ward poked the puck through the pads of Worcester netminder Eamon McAdam a few minutes later.
“(Worcester) does a good job of kind of collapsing and having a lot of traffic, so I just tried to throw it toward the net, let our forwards go to work and I think it had a lucky bounce,” said Wyzsomirski on his goal.
That was the status quo until late in the second period until a fight between Worcester’s Yannick Turcotte and Manchester’s Martin Nemcik. Although Nemcik got the better of Turcotte in the altercation, the Railers’ bench was clearly energized as the two men entered the dressing rooms to serve their major penalties.
Following Sunday’s contest, Turcotte is currently third in the ECHL in penalty minutes served, with all but five of those minutes coming from games against the Monarchs or the Oct. 25 game in Colorado where he spent just over half the game serving penalties.
Indeed, his fight against Nemcik was his fourth against Manchester already this season.
Worcester plugged away after the brawl, and just seconds after a mistimed challenge by Wyyzsomirski landed him in the box, Railers defenseman Patrick McNally slotted home his first goal of the year from the left side of the blue line.
But that would be it for the Railers, with Matt Marcinew’s fast break goal halfway through the third period sealing the victory for Manchester.
Worcester’s Wade Murphy also recorded his third goal of the year and Manchester’s Zac Lynch added an empty netter to complete the game’s score line.
Friday night Monarch heroes Joel Lowry and Jonathan Racine were given the day off, but in the eyes of Monarchs coach Richard Seeley, that fact is just a testament to the strength of his squad.
“Obviously we’ve got some depth and obviously we’ve got some guys when the protocol allows to give rest, because we’ve got a deep lineup,” he said.
With the win, the Monarchs (8-3-1-1) retain their spot atop the ECHL’s North Division, one point ahead of the Wheeling Nailers, with Wheeling defeating Norfolk on Sunday, 4-2.
Manchester will now host the Reading Royals on Wednesday at 10 a.m. while Worcester (5-5-1-0) will host the Brampton Beast on Tuesday.