MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Bud Holloway
jammed in the game-winner half way through the third period to extinguish the Albany River Rats in a 2-1 victory for the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (12-4-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 27 points. Albany (9-9-0-2) is in third place in the East Division with 20 points.
“We’re a team where I don’t know if we’re going to blow out any teams (in scoring) but if you have guys driving to the net then the puck will go in,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Everybody contributed tonight. From a team standpoint, that’s important.”
Holloway put the Monarchs up for good at 11:24 of the third period with his fifth goal of the season. Monarchs center Oscar Moller skated into the River Rats zone and shot the puck toward goaltender Mike Murphy. The puck ricocheted off of the goaltender and bounced around the slot before Holloway jammed it into the net. Defenseman Joe Piskula assisted on the game-winning goal.
At the 8:13 mark of the second period, Monarchs center Gabe Gauthier netted his second goal of the season on a power play assisted by center Andrei Loktionov and defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov. Loktionov gathered the puck behind the net and passed it over to Voynov at the left point. The defenseman quickly shot the puck at Murphy. Following the save, the rebound bounced to Gauthier on the right side who slapped the puck in for the Monarchs first goal of the game making the score 1-0.
With only 2:14 having run off the clock in the third period, River Rats defenseman Jay Harrison’s shot from the left point was redirected in front by right wing Steven Goertzen’s to tie the game at 1-1. Albany’s left wing Chris Terry picked up the assist.
Seconds later, River Rats defenseman Zack FitzGerald put his elbow into Monarchs defenseman Patrick Mullen just inside Albany’s blueline. Monarchs right wing Kevin Westgarth swept in to defend his teammate and dropped the gloves with FitzGerald at 2:35 in the final stanza.
Bernier (8-4-2) earned his eighth win of the season with 33 saves on 34 shots. Murphy (3-4-0) took his fourth loss of the season with 36 saves on 38 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Albany went 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester outshot their opponent for only the second time on home ice this season…Monarchs center Gabe Gauthier scored his second goal of the season; his last goal came against Albany on October 3…Monarchs rookie center Andrei Loktionov ended his three-game scoreless streak with an assist on Gauthier’s goal…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is tied all-time with netminder Mathieu Garon for wins in Monarchs history with 32 victories.