October 6, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Manchester Monarchs
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Manchester Monarchs used a late goal from Gasper Kopitar to beat the Worcester Railers, 4-3, Friday night at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in the first pre-season game of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Monarchs opened the scoring when Tommy Kelley netted his 1st goal of the pre-season at 1:59 of the first period. Kelley picked the pocket of a Railers defenseman on the left half-boards, carried the puck to the slot and fired a wrister over the glove of Railers goaltender, Joe Fallon, to put the Monarchs up, 1-0.
Worcester tied the game at 15:02 of the opening stanza when Josh Monk scored his 1st goal of the exhibition season. Just after the Monarchs killed a Justin Agosta slashing penalty, Monk sent a seeing-eye wrister from the left point that beat Monarchs goaltender, Charles Williams, to tie the game, 1-1.
The Railers took their first lead of the game at 3:56 of the second period when Kellen Jones scored his 1st goal of the pre-season. While on a 5-on-3 power play, Jones found the puck on his stick alone in front of the cage, and beat Williams high blocker to make the score, 2-1.
Worcester doubled their lead when T.J. Syner scored his 1st goal of the pre-season at 15:46 of the middle frame. Syner took a short pass from Wade Murphy off the half-boards, and sent a one-timer from the slot over the glove of Williams to put the Railers up, 3-1.
The Monarchs inched closer when Cory Ward potted his 1st goal of the pre-season at 3:07 of the third period. Ward found the loose puck in the neutral zone, skated to the top of the left circle and sent a wrister over the glove of Fallon to make the score, 3-2, Worcester.
Matt Leitner tied things up at 4:28 of the final frame when he scored his 1st goal of the pre-season. Leitner took an aerial pass from Zac Lynch on the doorstep, and batted the puck past Fallon to even the game, 3-3.
Manchester took the lead for good when Kopitar netted his 1st goal of the pre-season at 15:49 of the third period. Kopitar took a pass from Michael Doherty in the high slot, where he fired a snapper through traffic and Fallon, to make the score, 4-3, Monarchs.
The Monarchs and Railers complete their home-and-home series Saturday, Oct. 7 (6 p.m.), when the teams play their final game of the pre-season at The Rinks at Exeter, in Exeter, NH. Tickets to the game will be on sale at The Rinks at Exeter for $5 at the door.
Manchester and Worcester will open the regular season against each other Oct. 14 (7:05 p.m.) at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
Charles Williams made the start in net for Manchester, and stopped 26 shots
Eight different Monarchs earned points in the win
Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman led the game with five shots on goal
Worcester won the shot battle, 29-23
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play