LOWELL, MA ? Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
stopped all 33 shots for his second shutout of the season and left wing Scott Parse
tallied twice as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Lowell Devils, 3-0, in front of 2,018 fans at the Tsongas Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (19-22-0-5, 43 points) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Lowell (22-20-1-3, 48 points) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
"It was a pretty solid game," said Head Coach Mark Morris. "Scott Parse had a big game with two first period goals and that sparked us for the rest of the game."
Parse picked up his first goal of the game at 1:59 of the opening frame. Center Justin Azevedo sent the puck from the neutral zone to Parse who was able to sneak behind the Devils' defense and still be on-side in Lowell's zone. Controlling the puck as he skated toward the net, the left wing snapped a wrist shot from the right doorstep. Goaltender Dave Caruso thought he made the save but the puck trickled through his pads and over the goal line for the first goal of the game. Left wing Vladimir Dravecky picked up an assist on Parse's 10th tally of the season.
The combo of Parse, Azevedo and Dravecky combined for their second goal of the night at 7:20 of the first period. Putting pressure on the Devils in their zone, Dravecky handed the puck off to Azevedo in the right corner. The rookie center skated along the right wing boards and found Parse between the hash marks for a one-timer that beat Caruso on his glove side to give Manchester the 2-0 advantage.
Left wing Trevor Lewis put the icing on the cake with a shorthanded, empty net goal at 19:10 of the final period. Lewis and Parse are tied for the team's goal scoring lead with 11 tallies each.
"We had a real solid third period from Jonathan Bernier," said Morris. "When (Lowell) put on a big surge at the end, he stood tall. It's huge for his confidence. As a team, we played well defensively. We did a pretty good job denying them of Grade-A chances. We had contributions for a lot of different sources."
Bernier (11-14-3) ended his six game losing streak with his second shutout and 11th win of the season by stopping all 33 shots he faced. Caruso (1-10-0) took his 10th loss of the season with 21 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.