ESTERO, Fla. — The Manchester Monarchs scored four times in the second period to overcome a two-goal deficit and then withstood a furious push by the Florida Everblades in the third period to hang on for a 4-3 win at Hertz Arena on Saturday night.
Trailing 4-2 after two periods, Florida (35-12-5-0, 75 pts.) outshot Manchester (27-23-1-1, 56 pts.) by 14 in the third period but managed just one goal in the final frame of the final game of a six-game homestand.
John McCarron brought the ‘Blades within one just 3:03 into the third period on his third goal in as many games, his 23rd tally of the season. After rookie Cliff Pu attempted a wraparound at the near post, McCarron deflected the puck past Manchester goaltender Cole Kehler to whittle Florida’s deficit to 4-3.
But Kehler stopped the other 16 shots he saw in the third period to help Manchester hang on for its first-ever win at Hertz Arena.
Joe Cox’s team-leading 24th goal of the season got the ‘Blades on the board first with 5:09 to play in the first period. Michael Neville sent a pass from in behind the cage to Cox, who was eagerly waiting in the slot. Wasting no time, Cox hammered a one-timer that beat Kehler cleanly on his glove side.
The ‘Blades added a late tally with 13 seconds to play in the first period to pad their lead going into the first intermission. Patrick Bajkov picked up the goal against his old team with a shot from the low right circle that beat Kehler on his blocker side. Michael Downing joined the ranks of players to tally a point in their first game with the ‘Blades, as he picked up a secondary assist.
Manchester responded by scoring four consecutive goals in the second period, including three goals in three minutes, 31 seconds before the end of the period.
Daniil Miromanov brought the game within one at 11:33 of the second period. Cory Ward hit Miromanov with a pass that allowed Miromanov to make the move to come in all alone on Helvig. Miromanov then snapped a wrist shot past Helvig’s blocker from the right circle to make it a 2-1 game.
Nic Pierog then helped Manchester tie the game less than five minutes later. Off a feed from the right circle from Austin Block, Pierog fired a one-time blast past a sliding Helvig with 3:36 left in the second.
Drake Rymsha then pushed Manchester ahead for good with a breakaway tally only eight seconds after Pierog’s score.
The Monarchs added to their lead with a power-play goal with 4.7 seconds to play in the second period. Jack Nevins found Tony Cameranesi in the right circle for a shot that beat Helvig blocker side.
Florida now heads on the road for four straight games, a stretch that starts with a Wednesday matchup in Jacksonville against the Icemen. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m.
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