The Lock Monsters fell to the Beast of New Haven for the 2nd consecutive game. Losing this time out by a 5-2 score. Lowell took an early lead on a Yevgeny Namestikov goal 5:21 into the game. Mike Kennedy and Warren Luhing assisted on the goal. The assist for Luhing marked his fourth consecutive game with at least one point. Former University of Lowell star Craig Charron picked up his first goal of the season on the power play at 10:47. Namestikov also assisted on that goal. That is now four points since he decided to go back to his given name and not an Americanized version.
New Haven came back with two late first period goals off the sticks of Peter Ratchuk and Scott Levins. Ryan Johnson scored the eventual game-winning goal on the power play at 4:32 of the 3rd period. Chris MacDonald and Greg Kohler closed out the scoring for New Haven.
Mike Fountain made 26 saves for his first win of the year. Marcel Cousineau made just 18 while suffering his first loss for Lowell.
Referee Lyle Seitz continues to show that he reads the rulebook very closely calling three different obstruction infractions. The only fight of the night was when New Haven's John Jackopin tussled with Lowell's Zdeno Chara.
The Lock Monsters continue to struggle to draw people, only 2,276 attended. Some of this could be attributed to the other AHL teams within a two-hour drive were home as well.
Lowell plays the Mighty Ducks of Cincinnati on Wedneday night. The Ducks tied Rochester on Saturday night.
The Lock Monsters dropped a 5-2 decision to the Beast of New Haven, thanks in part to 10 penalties that led to the seven man-down situations that ultimately produced two critical New Haven goals.
Ryan Johnsons rebound of a Marek Malik shot 4:32 into the third period snapped a 2-2 tie, and Craig MacDonald tacked on the insurance 83 seconds later to propel the Beast in front of a disappointed and disappointing crowd of 2,276.
After a solid 5-2 win Friday night in Portland, getting the tables turned on them was a stinger.
"Were very disappointed," Lowell coach Frank Anzalone said. "This staff got teased (Friday) night and saw some great things.
"Im not taking anything away from (New Haven). They work very hard. But our top guys have got to be here for these types of games."
With Lowell goalie Marcel Cousineau (18 saves) down on the ice after stopping a Malik shot early in the third, Johnson a Florida Panther for 10 games a year ago collected the puck in a vacated slot and flipped the game-winner into the top of the net.
MacDonald made it a 4-2 game when he finished off a beautifully-executed 2-on-1 with Bryon Ritchie, beating Cousineau to the far side with a low wrist shot.
Former University of Massachusetts at Lowell player Greg Koehler capped the scoring with his second goal of the year with 2:59 left in the game.
But penalties were the key. Final tally New Haven 2-for-7 on power plays; Lowell 1-for-3.
"Were very disappointed in that part of the game," Anzalone said. "Well have to watch the tape. But I know one thing we did a lot of penalty killing."
Even with the small crowd on hand, the Monsters (2-2) did not lack for motivation in the early going, grabbing a quick 2-0 lead and completely carrying play during the 10-minute blitz that opened the game.
Defenseman Yevgeny Namestnikov rammed in a Warren Luhning pass just 5:45 in, and Craig Charron notched his first goal of the year five minutes later when he flipped the rebound of a Dmitri Nabakov shot over sprawled Beast goalie Mike Fountain (26 saves).
Nice start, right?
"We do that all the time against this team," said Anzalone, visibly upset afterward. "Were very good at that. We were up 2-0, were flying along pretty well and then the wind popped out of our sails, so to speak."
"They came out strong in the first 14 minutes," Koehler said. "Then we came back and tied it. And we came out in the second period and controlled pretty much the rest of the game."
New Haven, an affiliate to both the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers, rallied with a pair of goals late in the first period to square matters. Peter Ratchuk beat Cousineau with a high wrist shot from the slot, and then, on a power play with just 10.8 seconds showing on the clock, Scott Levins deflected a Steve Halko slapper from the right point.
The Monsters spent nearly a third of the second period shorthanded, but successfully killed off all three minor penalties to keep the game deadlocked heading to the third.
LOWELL -- Your typical American Hockey League player possesses many fine attributes demanded by his National Hockey League parent club. Foremost among these are his gritty determination and his eagerness to work cheaply for the time being.
Rumors of player-payroll cuts loom over the struggling New York Islanders, so the future Islanders seen in Lowell as Lock Monsters may have their futures accelerated, provided they move a lot faster than they did last night.
"We have to accomplish more. Our top guys have to show up for these games," said Lock Monsters coach Frank Anzalone, fuming after the Beast of New Haven walloped Lowell at home for the second time in a week, 5-2, before 2,276 fans at Tsongas Arena last night.
Last Saturday night New Haven beat Lowell 6-1.
"If you go in to Portland and win (5-2 on Friday night), you have to finish off that weekend," stressed Anzalone.
Trailing 2-0, New Haven (3-2-0) scored twice in the final 2:29 of the first period, then snapped a 2-2 tie early in the third period when Ryan Johnson and Craig MacDonald scored goals 1:23 apart.
Former UMass Lowell star Greg Koehler, a center for the Beast, then tagged on his second goal in two nights at 17:01 for the 5-2 final.
"I had a few buddies up there in the stands," said Koehler, who was signed by Carolina as a free agent after his sophomore season at UMass Lowell, "so that's one goal I wanted to get out of the way."
Lowell drops to 2-2-0, both its losses having been administered at Tsongas Arena by the Beast.
With the score 2-2 in the third period, Johnson roofed the puck over Lowell goalie Marcel Cousineau (18 saves) , still sprawled from halting a blast from the blue line by defenseman Marek Malek, on the power play at 4:32.
Then at 5:55, Craig MacDonald converted on a 2-on-1 with Byron Ritchie to put New Haven up 4-2.
Anzalone hinted unhappiness over how referee Lyle Seitz called the game, giving New Haven a 7-2 advantage in power plays, but was waiting to review the tape before declaring his Monsters innocent of wrongdoing. The Beast had a 3-1 advantage in power-play goals.
Lowell scored first at 5:21 of the first period, on a shot by defenseman Yevegny Namestnikov from near the top of the right circle as 6-foot-4, 215-pound Mark Lawrence caused a commotion near New Haven goalie Mike Fountain. Namestnikov was set up on a crisp crossing pass by Warren Luhning.
At 10:47 of the first period, former University of Lowell star Craig Charron, a 30-year-old minor league vet and crowd favorite, scored his first Lock Monster goal, easily flipping in a rebound of a Dmitri Nabakov shot from the left point on the power play for a 2-0 lead.
But what had been a strong first period for the home team turned bad in the final three minutes. New Haven defenseman Peter Ratchuk, a first-round draft pick of Colorado two years ago, deposited the puck perfectly past Cousineau into the upper left corner from the lower right circle at 17:31.
Then, with 6-foot-9 Lock Monster defenseman Zdeno Chara in the box for pushing around a Beast a foot shorter, former Ottawa Senator center Scott Levins tipped home a Steve Halko shot through rush-hour traffic from the right point to tie the game 2-2 at 19:50 of the first period
Early in the second period, every Beast on the ice at the time took a poke at the hard-to-miss Chara before he dropped the gloves to go at willing 6-foot-5 Beast defenseman John Jakopin, Man of the Year in the AHL last season for his outstanding community service.
Chara slipped, Jakopin toppled on top of him, and that was that for second-period cheering. The teams skated through a scoreless second period, in which Lowell outshot New Haven 9-8, despite the Lock Monsters having to kill three Beast power plays without getting a PP of their own.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the New York Islanders' AHL affiliate allowed the New Haven Beast to score five unanswered goals --including three on the power play --to win going away before an estimated crowd of 2,000. Final score was 5-2.
''We're very good at (starting quickly),'' said Lock Monster coach Frank Anzalone, whose club is now 2-2 on the young season. ''We were flying along pretty well and then they popped in that one goal.''
That one goal came with just 2:19 to play in the first period. The next came just 10 seconds before the break. Ouch.
Defenseman John Namestnikov drew first blood for the Lock Monsters, jumping up into the play just 5:21 into the first period. Winger Warren Luhning found him open on the right side, and Namestnikov beat New Haven goalie Mike Fountain through the pads while Mark Lawrence ran interference in front.
Lowell was whistled for a tripping penalty shortly thereafter, and goaltender Marcel Cousineau did well to stuff New Haven's Craig Ferguson not once but twice from the left side to preserve the 1-0 lead.
The Lock Monsters doubled their lead just minutes later, as Craig Charron pounced on a rebound of a Dmitri Nabakov shot and roofed it over the fallen Fountain. Things were looking good for the Lock Monsters, up 2-0, with only 10:44 played.
A pair of penalties would cost them, however.
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