Pack Drop 5-3 Verdict in Manchester

Mar 8, 2015

Sean Backman scored twice, and Michael Mersch had three assists, Sunday at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the  Wolf Pack, 5-3.

Dylan McIlrath, Chris Bourque and Mat Bodie had the Wolf Pack goals.  Andrew Bodnarchuk added a goal and an assist for Manchester and Colin Miller had two assists.

A pair of defensemen traded goals in the first period, with McIlrath scoring for the Wolf Pack and Bodnarchuk for Manchester.

McIlrath gave the Wolf Pack an early lead with his fourth goal of the year at 3:23.  McIlrath’s defense partner, Chris Summers dropped the puck back to McIlrath at the left point, and his snap shot got by the stick side of Monarch goaltender J.F. Berube (18 saves).

Manchester’s league-leading power play got the Monarchs on the board at 11:37, with Chad Nehring off for slashing.  Mersch fed a pass across the slot to Bodnarchuk just inside the right faceoff dot, and Bodnarchuk beat Wolf Pack netminder Jeff Malcolm (30 saves) with a quick shot.

Backman got both of his goals in the second period, with Bourque’s tally sandwiched in between.

Backman gave Manchester its first lead of the game at 2:03, firing a shot past Malcolm on the long side, from below the right faceoff dot.

Bourque got the Wolf Pack back even at 10:11 with his 22nd of the year, just after the Wolf Pack finished killing a five-on-three man disadvantage.  A long Marek Hrivik feed sent Bourque into the Monarch zone with a step on the defense, and Bourque ripped a shot from the right-wing side past Berube’s catching glove.

Backman struck again at 14:21, though, after slipping through a check in the right-wing corner.  Backman cut around the net and stepped out to Malcolm’s right, and then put the puck high into the net on the glove side.

Justin Auger scored what turned out to be the winning goal 2:18 into the third period.  A shot by Miller deflected across the goalmouth, and Auger was easily able to put it into the net after Malcolm lost his stick.  The Wolf Pack argued that the Monarchs had illegally knocked the stick out of Malcolm’s hands, but the goal was allowed to stand.

Hartford responded only 2:18 later on a power play, on a one-timer by Bodie from the center point, off of a pass from Chris Mueller.  Carl Klingberg was screening in front, and Berube could not come up with the save.

The Wolf Pack were awarded a power play with 1:29 remaining, on a cross-checking penalty to Andrew Crescenzi, and pulled Malcolm for a two-skater advantage.  Zach O’Brien foiled that strategy, though, with an empty-net goal to ice the game with 22.9 seconds left.

The Wolf Pack’s next action is this Friday night, March 13, when they travel to Springfield for a 7:00 date with the Falcons.  All of the action of that skirmish can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1410, and on-line at and iHeartRadio.  Video streaming is available at

The Wolf Pack’s next home game is Friday, March 20, when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms invade the XL Center for a 7:00 game.  As at all Friday-night Wolf Pack games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs an $2 beers through the start of the second period.

Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at and by phone at (877) 522-8499.  Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. 

To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.



Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Manchester Monarchs 5
Sunday, March 8, 2015 - Verizon Wireless Arena

Hartford 1 1 1 - 3
Manchester 1 2 2 - 5

1st Period-1, Hartford, McIlrath 4 (Summers, Tarnasky), 3:23. 2, Manchester, Bodnarchuk 5 (Mersch, LoVerde), 11:37 (PP). Penalties-Backman Mch (clipping), 4:19; Nehring Hfd (slashing), 10:07; Allen Hfd (fighting), 12:16; Sabourin Mch (tripping, fighting), 12:16; Haggerty Hfd (hooking), 13:44; Spinell Hfd (interference), 19:37.

2nd Period-3, Manchester, Backman 11 (Mersch, Bodnarchuk), 2:03. 4, Hartford, Bourque 22 (Hrivik), 10:11. 5, Manchester, Backman 12 (Mersch, Richards), 14:21. Penalties-Kostka Hfd (hooking), 2:23; Backman Mch (cross-checking), 3:50; Kostka Hfd (slashing), 6:46; Mueller Hfd (roughing), 8:04.

3rd Period-6, Manchester, Auger 8 (Miller, Horvat), 2:18. 7, Hartford, Bodie 4 (Mueller, Klingberg), 3:28 (PP). 8, Manchester, O'Brien 11 (O'Neill, Miller), 19:37 (SH EN). Penalties-Auger Mch (tripping), 3:15; Bourque Hfd (interference), 15:45; Crescenzi Mch (cross-checking), 18:31.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 6-9-6-21. Manchester 14-14-7-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Manchester 1 / 7.
Goalies-Hartford, Malcolm 5-3-0 (34 shots-30 saves). Manchester, Berube 27-8-2 (21 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Geoff Miller (28), Cameron Voss (78).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Ed Boyle (81).

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