MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs broke a two-game slide on Saturday night, defeating the Maine Mariners 5-2.
Manchester drew first blood, with Nic Pierog wristed one from between the blue line and the left faceoff circle past the glove side of Maine netminder Chris Neil near the middle of the first period.
Continuing a recent trend, Manchester lost that early lead, with Zach Tolkinen evening things up for the Mariners with a power play goal around six minutes before the first intermission.
The Monarchs bounced back in the second, first with a goal from Nick Moultrey followed later by Pierog’s second goal of the night as well as Spencer Watson’s third goal of the season.
Maine’s Alex Kile provided the visitors a power play goal in the third, and Moultrey adding an empty netter to finish the scoreline, with Pierog assisting.
In what may portend the beginning of a nascent regional rivalry, the contest marked Manchester’s first fighting penalties of the season, first with Colton Saucerman’s five-minute major in the first period, as well as a third-period scuffle that sent defenceman Craig Wyszomirski to the box and a fight for Pierog to seal his Gordie Howe hat trick.
The Monarchs return to the ice on Wednesday as they host the Brampton Beast. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.