SPRINGFIELD, MA – Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
denied the Portland Pirates on every shot as the Manchester Monarchs picked up their fourth win of the season, 4-0, in front of 8,605 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. The Monarchs collected 8,000-10,000 boxes of macaroni and cheese for the New Hampshire Food Bank as fans joined in by shaking and donating their boxes for the Max & Cheese Food Drive.
Manchester (4-2-0-0) is tied with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-1-0-0) for first place in the Atlantic Division with eight points. Portland Pirates (2-4-0-0) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (2-4-0-0) are tied for seventh place in the Atlantic Division with four points each.
"It was a fun night for our home opener," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "We had a lot of contribution from several team members tonight and hope to see a lot more of that (this season). Early success is important for this team."
Left wing Bud Holloway picked up his first tally of the season at 1:13 of the second period to break the scoreless tie and put the Monarchs up by a goal. The Verizon Wireless Arena erupted with the noise of macaroni and cheese as fans shook their boxes following Holloway’s goal. The boxes will be collected and donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank following the game. Picking up his team leading seventh assist of the season, right wing Scott Parse sent the puck along the left wing wall for center Andrei Loktionov. The rookie carried the puck into the bottom of the left face-off circle and snapped a wrister into the chest pad of goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. The puck bounced into the slot where Holloway skated in for the one-timer into the net.
The Monarchs doubled their lead before heading into the locker room for the second intermission with defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov’s first goal of the season at 18:36 of the middle frame. Left wing David Meckler won the face-off in the right circle deep in the Pirates zone. The puck slid back to the right point where Voynov blasted a one-timer through traffic. The puck bounced off Portland’s defenders and around Lamoureux for the 2-0 Monarchs advantage.
Holloway netted his second goal of the night at 11:24 of the final frame. Center Gabe Gauthier picked up a pass from Loktionov in the right face-off circle. Gauthier walked in toward the net and snapped a wrist shot into the crease. The puck fluttered in the air and Holloway smacked it out of mid-air and into the net for his second goal of the season.
Parse finished off the Pirates with his first tally of the season at 14:49 of third period. Parse skated in on Lamoureux all alone and snuck the puck under the goaltender to give the Monarchs a 4-0 final. Holloway and defenseman Patrick Mullen assisted on Parse’s goal.
Bernier (4-1-0) picked up the win by stopping all 29 shots he faced from the opposition. Lamoureaux (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season with 23 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: Left wing Bud Holloway scored two goals, his first multi-goal game in a Monarchs uniform…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier earned his sixth shutout with Manchester by denying Portland on all 29 shots they put on him…The Monarchs have shutout their opponent 66 times over the last nine seasons…Right wing Scott Parse continues to lead the team in points; he added a goal and an assist tonight…Parse’s seven assists lead the team and are tied for second place in the AHL…Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov scored his first tally of the season…Center Andrei Loktionov picked up two assists…The Monarchs collected roughly 8,000-10,000 boxes of macaroni and cheese for the New Hampshire Food Bank!...Thanks you Monarchs Fans!!!!!