PROVIDENCE, RI - Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Providence Bruins, 2-0, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Sunday evening.
Manchester (20-8-1-2) became the first team in the AHL to reach 20 wins this season and moved into the league's first place position with 43 points. Providence (15-13-1-0) falls to seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 31 points.
Monarchs center Corey Elkins netted his eighth goal of the season at the 8:52 mark of the first period putting his team up 1-0. Left wing David Meckler fought the Bruins defender down low behind the net for the puck after bringing it deep into the zone. The streaky winger quickly took the puck from behind the net and fed it out front to Elkins sitting on the doorstep. Elkins one-timed the swift pass straight into the back of the net behind Providence goaltender Kevin Regan. Left wing Richard Clune picked up an assist on the goal.
Clune scored his second goal of the season as he blasted a wrist shot by Regan putting the Monarchs up 2-0 with 14:13 remaining in the second frame. Right wing Kevin Westgarth intercepted a Bruins pass from right inside the Bruins zone. Westgarth quickly fed it over to Clune at the top of the right face-off dot who then broke toward the middle of the zone and let a wrist shot go beating Regan on the glove side.
Bernier (14-7-2) earned his 14th win of the season and third shutout stopping all 36 shots. Regan (2-2-0) took his second loss of the season stopping 22-of-24 Manchester shots.
Manchester went 0-3 on the power play. Providence also went 0-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs become the first team in the AHL to reach 20 wins...Manchester also moved into sole possession of first place in the AHL with tonight's win...Left wing David Meckler extended his point streak (5-1=6) to four games with an assist, but he snapped his three-game goal streak (five goals)...Goaltender Jonathan Bernier collected his third shutout on the season saving all 36 shots...Manchester has shutout their opponent 69 times in team history...Center Corey Elkins collected his team tying 19 point (8-11=19) of the season with the game-winning goal...Left wing Richard Clune completed his first pro Gordie Howe Hat Trick, a goal, an assist and a fight, when he dropped his gloves with defenseman Adam McQuaid in the third period.