|Bernier stopped all 34 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
PROVIDENCE, RI – In a battle of the netminders, the Manchester Monarchs came out on top as goaltender Jonathan Bernier
stopped all 34 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the season as they shutout the Providence Bruins, 2-0, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (28-14-2-5) ranks first in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Providence (21-23-3-0) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 45 points.
“Tonight was a gratifying win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “It was close all the way. The guys battled hard. Goals from Geoff Walker and Jon Rheault and stellar goaltender from Jonathan Bernier proved to be the difference. The Kings brass was in Providence to scout and they had to be pleased with the effort.”
Both teams were held off the scoreboard until the 46:15-mark of the game when right wing Geoff Walker jammed in his fourth goal of the season. With center Zach Hamill in the Bruins penalty box for slashing and the referee calling a delayed penalty on Providence, the Monarchs went to work. Defenseman Alec Martinez passed the puck to center Justin Azevedo who drove to the net. Azevedo, in his first game since suffering a lower body injury on November 18, snapped a wrist shot on Bruins goaltender Dany Sabourin. The initial shot was saved but Walker was on the doorstep to jam in the rebound and break the 0-0 tie.
Right wing Jon Rheault finished off the Bruins with an empty net tally at 19:48 of the final frame. Defenseman Andrew Campbell assisted on Rheault’s first goal of the season.
Bernier (20-11-5) earned his 20th win and his fifth shutout of the season by stopping all 34 shots he faced in the game. Sabourin (18-16-0) took his 16th loss of the season with 23 saves on 24 shots.
Manchester was a 1-for-6 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs have shutout the Bruins in 4-of-6 games this season…Manchester has shutout Providence in the last 180 minutes and 48 seconds over the last four games…Monarchs goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and Jeff Zatkoff each have two shutouts against the Bruins this season…Bernier tied his season high of five shutouts; he also recorded five shutouts during the 2008-09 season…Center Justin Azevedo picked up an assist in his first game since he suffered a lower body injury on November 18…Right wing Jon Rheault recorded his first goal of the season.