|Los Angeles Kings prospect Marc-Andre Cliche tallied two goals in the Monarchs 2-1 win.
The Manchester Monarchs narrowly edged the Springfield Falcons, 2-1, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.
Manchester (24-11-1-3) remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 52 points. Springfield (11-20-7-2) sits in eighth place in the Atlantic Division with 31 points.
“Marc-Andre Cliche did a great job in the scoring department,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Many times a player in a defensive role does not score much but he was strong tonight. As the game wore on, you could feel the energy and confidence building on the bench.”
Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche put up his second goal of the night and ninth of the season at 1:11 in the third period to put the Monarchs up 2-1. Right winger Geoff Walker shot the puck from the inside corner of the right face-off circle but was denied by Falcons goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur. The rebound was picked up by left wing Bud Holloway for a quick pass to Cliche, between the hash marks, who whipped it past Levasseur. Holloway increased his assists to 10 and Walker added an assist for a total of two this season.
At 9:37 of the opening period, Springfield put up the first tally of the night. Falcons left wing Charles Linglet passed the puck from behind the Monarchs red line to center Rob Hisey at the right face-off dot. Hisey whipped the rubber biscuit past Monarchs netminder Jonathan Bernier for his fourth goal of the season. Right wing Bill Thomas earned his 11th assist on the play. Linglet picked up his 29th assist this season.
Skating on the power play in the second period, Cliche tied the score with 9:36 remaining on the clock. Center Gabe Gauthier brought the puck up the right wing and into the Falcons zone following a pass by defenseman Andrew Campbell. Cliche, skating strong, came up on the left side of Gauthier and received a pass from his teammate. Cliche then chucked it into the back of the net for his first of two goals on the night.
Bernier (17-9-3) picked up his 17th win of the season stopping 22-of-23 shots in regulation. Levasseur (0-9-0) took his ninth loss of the season with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Springfield was 0-of-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs ended their three-game winless streak with tonight’s win…The Monarchs are on a seven game win streak at the Verizon Wireless Arena against Springfield…Center Marc-Andre Cliche recorded his second multi-goal game of the season; he scored two goals and added an assist in the Monarchs 6-3 win over the Worcester Sharks on December 11, 2009…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier moved into third place on the Monarchs all-time list with 41 wins.