MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
picked up his second shutout of the season stopping 40 shots in the Manchester Monarchs 2-0 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of 3,568 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (6-2-0-0) remains in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with 12 points. Bridgeport (4-4-0-0) dropped to fifth place in the Atlantic Division with eight points.
“Tonight’s game was a huge character win for our team,” said Monarchs Assistant Coach Scott Pellerin. “Bernier played a great game in net for us. Bridgeport came out with a lot of speed in the third period and we were able to hold on and come away with a good character win.”
Right wing John Zeiler netted his first goal of the season to end the 0-0 tie at 7:23 of the second period. Bridgeport had just finished killing off a penalty when the Monarchs changed lines and carried the puck into the Sound Tigers zone. Center Marc-Andre Cliche brought the puck in on the left side and found right wing Brandon Segal in the right face-off circle. Finding his trailer, Segal dropped a pass back to Zeiler who was streaking toward the net in his teammate’s shadow. Collecting the puck, the winger snapped a wrist shot passed goaltender Nathan Lawson to give the Monarchs a 1-0 advantage.
Rookie center Andrei Loktionov gave the Monarchs an insurance goal at 10:47 of the final frame with his team leading fifth tally of the season. Center Oscar Moller sprung Loktionov into the Sound Tigers zone on a breakaway. Loktionov skated in on Lawson and roofed the puck into the net for a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Thomas Hickey picked up the other assist on the goal.
Bernier (5-1-0) earned his second shutout of the season and fifth win stopping all 40 shots he faced in the game. Lawson (1-2-0) took his second loss of the season stopping 29-of-31 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Goaltender Jonathan Bernier earned his second shutout in seven games with 40 saves…Rookie defenseman Thomas Hickey picked up his point of the season when he assisted on center Andrei Loktionov’s goal…Right wing John Zeiler scored his first regular season goal with the Monarchs since April 11, 2008.