|Dwight Kings tallied the game winner for the Monarchs on Wednesday night. |
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
halted 33 shots as the Manchester Monarchs singed the Lowell Devils, 2-1, at the Tsongas Center on Wednesday night.
Manchester (36-26-3-6) moved into third place in the Atlantic Division with 81 points. Lowell (35-27-4-6) dropped to fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 80 points.
“It was a hard fought battle,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Our compete-level was very high tonight; we had stellar goaltending and we played hard in our zone. The goal that won it was a highlight reel goal. That’s the kind of hockey we need to play from here on out.”
Left wing Dwight King
gave the Monarchs a 2-1 lead at 8:21 of the second period with a power play tally. Center Trevor Lewis
sprung center Oscar Moller down the right wing from neutral ice. As Moller came down the right wing, King followed his lead down the opposite wing. From the right face-off dot, Moller fed a pass over to King in the left circle who one-timed the puck into the Devils net for his ninth goal of the season.
The Devils lit the lamp first with center Michael Swift’s 20th goal of the season at 7:26 of the opening period. Putting on pressure in the Monarchs zone, right wing Stephen Gionta carried the puck around the back of Manchester’s cage from left to right and hit Swift with a pass in the slot. Swift redirected the puck past Bernier for the 1-0 advantage for the home team. Center Ben Walter assisted on the first goal of the game.
Monarchs center Justin Azevedo
scored his 11th goal of the season, an unassisted tally, at 9:33 of the first frame to tie the game at 1-1. As the Devils tried to clear the puck from their zone, Azevedo held the puck in at the left point. He turned toward the net, teed up his shot and fired a blistering slap shot past goaltender Mike McKenna and into the top right corner of the net.
Bernier (27-20-6) picked up his 27th win of the season stopping 33-of-34 shots. McKenna (21-14-6) lost his 14th game of the season with 29 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-2 with the man advantage
NOTABLES: The Monarchs are 3-6-0-0 against the Devils this season…The final contest between these two clubs will be held on Wednesday, March 31 at the Tsongas Center at 7 p.m...Manchester and Lowell continue to swap positions in the standings as the Monarchs move into third place and the Devils drop to fourth…The Monarchs are now 3-9-1-1 when their opponent scores the first goal of the game on the road.