February 18. 2018 11:36PM

Three power-play goals lead Monarchs to 5-2 win over Gladiators

By PARKER WHEELER
Public Relations Coordinator


Manchester's Matt Leitner slips a goal past Atlanta's Sean Bonar on Sunday. (COURTESY)

DULUTH Ga. – The Manchester Monarchs completed a weekend sweep of the Atlanta Gladiators, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at Infinite Energy Arena.

The Monarchs (32-16-3-1) scored three power-play goals in the first period against the Gladiators (26-26-1-2) and won their fourth straight game.

Atlanta started the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 11:06 of the first period, on the 10th goal of the season for Darby Llewellyn. Tanner Pond chipped the puck out of the defensive zone along the boards into the Monarchs end of the ice, where Monarchs goaltender, Charles Williams, came out to play the puck. Before the puck got to Williams behind the net, Llewellyn pulled it off the boards and wrapped behind the net, slipping the puck past a diving Williams, to give the Gladiators a 1-0 lead.

The Monarchs answered at 14:38 of the first period on a 5-on-3, power-play goal, the fourth goal of the season for Keegan Iverson. Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman sent a pass from the goal line up to Colton Saucerman at the point. Saucerman took a shot from the top of the right circle, that was tipped in front by Iverson, past Atlanta goaltender, Sean Bonar, to tie the game, 1-1.

Manchester took the lead just :12 seconds later, on the power play, at 14:50 of the first period on the 30th goal of the season for LaVallee-Smotherman. Iverson skated along the right wall into the offensive zone and sent a cross-ice pass to LaVallee-Smotherman at the bottom of the left circle, where LaVallee-Smotherman one-timed a shot past the blocker of Bonar, to give the Monarchs a 2-1 lead.

The Monarchs added to their lead, on the power play, at 19:47 of the first period on the eighth goal of the season for Matt Leitner. Leitner skated from his defensive zone to the offensive blue line where he sent a pass to Joel Lowry along the left wing. Lowry sent a pass back to Leitner as he was crashing the net and pushed the puck past the pad of Bonar, to put the Monarchs up, 3-1.

Manchester extended their lead at 9:16 of the second period on the 13th goal of the season for Michael Doherty. Matt Schmalz intercepted a breakout pass at the blue line, skated to the top of the right circle and wristed a shot on Bonar. The rebound came right to Doherty at the bottom of the right circle, where he lifted the puck over the pad of Boner, to give the Monarchs a 4-1 lead.

Atlanta cut the lead in half at 9:51 of the second period on the 11th goal of the season for Pond. Colin Jacobs skated into the offensive zone along the left wing and centered a pass to Pond in the slot. Pond sniped a shot past the glove of Williams to make it, 4-2, Monarchs.

Manchester added an insurance tally at 8:55 of the third period on the 5th goal of the season for Francois Beauchemin. Saucerman took a wrist shot from the right point, that was stopped by Bonar, but the rebound came out to the slot and onto the stick of Beauchemin, who lifted the puck over the blocker of Bonar, to give Manchester a 5-2 lead.

The Monarchs return home to take on the Adirondack Thunder at SNHU Arena at 7 p.m. on Friday.

NOTES: Atlanta committed 19 infractions for a total of 49 penalty minutes. ... Darby Llewellyn received a misconduct at 19:46 of the first period. ... Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman scored in his third straight game and for the 14th time in the last 13 games.