MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
stopped 34 shots in regulation and all five shootout snipers as the Manchester Monarchs edged the Lowell Devils, 2-1, in a shootout in front of 5,058 fans at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester (28-26-0-5, 61 points) moved into fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Lowell (28-23-2-6, 64 points) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
Bernier blanked defenseman Tyler Eckford, center Brad Mills, left wing Ryan Murphy, right wing Matt Halischuk and right wing Jon DiSalvatore in the shootout. Monarchs’ right wing Trevor Lewis snuck the puck past Devils goaltender Jeff Frazee in the shootout. Left wing Vladimir Dravecky, center Justin Azevedo, left wing Scott Parse and center Oscar Moller were denied by Frazee in the shootout.
After skating through two scoreless periods, center Gabe Gauthier redirected in his seventh goal of the season at 14:33 of the third period to give Manchester a 1-0 advantage. Defenseman Joe Piskula fed the puck to right wing David Meckler. In the neutral zone, Meckler and Gauthier played catch with the right wing ending up carrying the puck into the Devils zone and the center driving to the net. Meckler’s shot on net from along the right wing was redirected up and over Frazee by Gauthier for the first goal of the game.
Just over two minutes later, Lowell brought the score back to even with left wing Alexander Vasyunov’s 11th goal of the season. Murphy sent the puck behind the Monarchs net for Vasyunov to pick up. The winger carried the puck around the left side of the net and out into the slot for a wrist shot that beat Bernier. Defenseman Mark Fraser assisted on the Devils goal at 16:38 of the final frame.
Bernier (14-17-3) earned his 14th win of the season stopping 34-of-35 shots in regulation and all five shots in the shootout. Frazee (22-11-5) took his fifth shootout loss of the season with 31 saves in regulation and four saves in the shootout.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.