MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs fell to the Albany River Rats amid 4,834 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday evening in a 3-1 loss, prolonging their home losing streak to six games.
Manchester (15-16-4-2) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 36 points. Albany (21-17-0-2) is tied for third place in the East Division with 44 points.
At the 17:24 mark of the first period, Albany added a power play goal from center Dave Gove, crediting the forward with the game-winning goal and the 2-0 lead. After accepting a pass from center Keith Aucoin in the left face-off circle, defenseman J.D. Forrest glittered a shot through traffic. The puck was soon redirected in front where Gove took control. Passing through the crease from left-to-right, a quick gather and shot from Gove was uncontested as it hopped over Monarchs goaltender Erik Ersberg's left shoulder to give the visiting River Rats the advantage.
The scoring commenced in the first period as Albany first put a notch on the board at 14:05. Amid a scrum for the puck inside the right face-off circle, Aucoin handed control of the play to left wing Brandon Nolan under pressure from several Monarchs defensemen. Nolan quickly found open right wing Jerome Samson positioned at the backdoor. A quick deflection sent the rubber past Ersberg on his stick side for the one goal lead.
Following a scoreless second stanza, the third period opened with yet another goal at the Monarchs expense pushing Albany's lead to 3-0. Gove positioned himself in the right face-off circle as the Manchester defense played the zone. Gove sent a pass to defenseman Brett Carson in the high slot. After a slight hesitation, Carson powered a shot on goal, deflecting off Ersberg's pads and to the left of the net. With an open shot presenting itself and right wing Jakub Petruzalek in prone position to shoot, the winger added to Albany's lead.
Preventing River Rats goaltender John Grahame's shutout, center Brian Boyle added to the Manchester goal column with his team-leading 17th blast of the year and fourth in as many games. After a short pass from the left boards by right wing Vladimir Dravecky awarded Boyle with an open shot on net, the center's wrist shot crawled through Grahame's legs and over the goal line. A feed by defenseman Troy Milam to Dravecky earned the defender the additional assist on the goal.
Ersberg suffered the loss preventing 25-of-28 shots on net. The visiting Grahame was awarded the win stopping 27-of-28 shots he faced.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Albany was 2-for-6 with the man advantage.