The Manchester Monarchs proved to be a royal pain for the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at Giant Center before a sellout crowd of better than 10,000 patrons and twice overcame one-goal deficits to escape with a narrow 5-4 victory.
Keith Aucoin, the AHL’s leading point producer gave the Bears their first lead of the night at 3:26 of the opening period, but that early bulge lasted a mere ten seconds before Justin Azevedo slid a backhander under Hershey netminder Dany Sabourin at 3:36.
The Monarchs took their first lead of the game 1:05 into the middle frame when Linden Vey’s goal off of a faceoff win against Aucoin ricocheted off Bears’ defenseman Dany Richmond and beyond Sabourin.
The Bears tied the game and quickly took the lead later in the stanza when Jacob Micflikier and then captain Boyd Kane converted for goals with a span of twenty-four seconds, but again the Monarchs responded quickly and tied the game when Jordan Nolan, son of former NHL coach Ted Nolan, tied the game at 9:13 just forty-six seconds after Kane’s caper.
With the teams entering the final frame of regulation time knotted at three, the Monarchs quickly took a 4-3 lead when Cam Paddock, with an assist from Nolan, padded his goal-scoring stats by netting his second goal of the season. However, the battling Bears once again tied the game at four when Micflikier struck on the power play at 14:23. Micflikier’s goal, his 18th of the season, marked the first time that he had scored more than a single goal in any game.
Just over a minute after Micflikier’s marker, the Bears had a chance to possibly put the game away when they were presented with another power play opportunity, but the Monarchs managed to survive that scenario and clinched the victory on a goal by Marc-Andre Cliche at 17:56.