03/17/2017 8:52 PM
The Gladiators made the long trek up to the cold and snowy northeast for their first ever visit to the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH for game one of back-to-back contests vs. the Monarchs. The home team was able to give the Gladiators their first lost to a North Division team this season with a 4-1 victory over Atlanta on Friday evening.
Manchester commenced the scoring with a late first period tally with 1:18 remaining. Quentin Shore moved into the Atlanta zone and found Wade Murphy trailing the play. The former Nashville Predators' draft pick propelled a one-time slap shot that eluded Atlanta goalie, Dan Vladar on the blocker side. The goal was also assisted by Colten Saucerman and sent the two clubs to the first intermission with the Monarchs leading 1-0.
Atlanta evened the score just :41 seconds into the middle frame to tie the game at 1-1 with a power play goal. Alex Gacek moved the puck to the goal-line for Alex Guptill who spun and fired a quick shot on net. The Monarchs' goalie, Colin Stevens made the first save but the rebound landed right on the stick of Eric Neiley standing at the top of the crease. The second-year pro whacked home the rebound to pull into a three-way tie for the team-lead in goals with 24.
Manchester regained their lead 8:25 into the second stanza. Murphy forced a turnover in the Manchester offensive zone with a heavy forecheck. Peter Leblanc collected the puck in the right wing circle and wired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Vladar for his 11th goal on the year.
The home team advanced to their first two-goal lead of the game with another second period tally. Atlanta once again gave the puck away in their own end which freed up space for Teddy Doherty. The Boston College product took a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed in past the glove of Vladar making the score 3-1. Doherty's seventh mark of the season was assisted by Kevin Morris and came 12:04 into the period.
The Monarchs added an insurance goal on the power play from their captain, Davis Kolomatis to put Manchester ahead 4-1 in the third period. Atlanta's comeback attempt went for not and the ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings was able to hold on for the win.
In the first loss of the season to a North Division opponent, the Gladiators dropped to 23-29-6-2 and remained at 54 points. Manchester's first win in their last five games improved their record to 32-19-7-4 and advanced them to 75 points in a tight North Division playoff race.