MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Adam Hauser stopped 35 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Albany River Rats, in front of the their ninth capacity crowd of the season, 9,916 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (41-29-3-4, 89 points) is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Albany (23-46-4-3, 53 points) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division.
Monarchs center Matt Ryan scored his 11th goal of the season and second in as many nights at 10:08 of the first period. Right wing Ryan Murphy fed the puck up to left wing Petr Kanko who flew down the right boards. As he approached the edge of the right face-off circle, Kanko blasted a shot at River Rats goaltender Ari Ahonen. The puck bounced off the right pad of Ahonen's and to open ice in front of the crease. Ryan was streaking through Albany's zone and his body momentum caught the puck and dragged it over the goal line to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead.
On the power play, left wing Noah Clarke redirected a beauty of a pass from right wing Alexandre Daigle for his 13th tally of the season at 17:19 of the middle frame. Clarke won the face-off deep in the River Rats zone and passed the puck to right wing Lauri Tukonen. Cycling the puck, Tukonen sent it into the right corner to Daigle who put the puck on the tape of Clarke's stick at the left post. Clarke one-timed the puck into the net to double the Monarchs lead to 2-0.
Hauser (22-16-2) earned the shutout victory with 35 saves on the night. Ahonen (2-12-0) took the loss stopping 29 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Albany was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.