LOWELL, MA – Goaltender Adam Hauser earned his second consecutive shutout and has gone 149:22 minutes without allowing a goal as the Manchester Monarchs topped the Lowell Lock Monsters 3-0 at the Tsongas Arena in front of a crowd of 3,182 on Saturday night.
Manchester (18-6-1-3, 40 points) remains tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with the Portland Pirates. Lowell (12-14-1-3, 28 points) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Left wing Noah Clarke scored his sixth of the season at the 3:06 mark of the first period to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Center Matt Ryan fed the puck over to Clarke who skated down the right side and fired a shot in on Lock Monsters goaltender Cam Ward from within the right face-off circle. Clarke's goal is his second game-winner of the season.
The Monarchs made it 2-0 with a goal by right wing Brad Smyth at 13:08 of the first period. Smyth scored his second goal in as many nights on a 2-on-1 breakaway with center Connor James. James skated into the Lock Monsters zone and slid the puck over to Smyth who flipped the puck over Ward's left pad for his 11th of the season. Left wing Jeff Tambellini also assisted on the goal.
Right wing Ryan Murphy finished off Lowell with an unassisted empty net goal at 18:56 of the final frame. Murphy stole the pass in the neutral zone, skated down the right side and flicked the puck into the empty net for his third of the season.
Hauser (13-5-2) earned his second shutout victory in as many nights by stopping all 20 shots by the Lock Monsters. Ward (0-1-0) made 23 saves as he took his first loss of the season since being sent to Lowell on a conditioning assignment from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Manchester went 0-for-7 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.