HARTFORD, CT –
Goaltender Martin Jones
backstopped the Manchester Monarchs to a 3-0 shutout, his second of the season, stopping 39 shots by the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday evening.
Manchester (24-12-1-1) earned their 24th win of the season and extended their first place lead in the Atlantic Division to seven points with a total of 50 points on the season. Connecticut (18-13-2-5) took their 13th loss of the season and is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 43 points.
“The guys rebounded well this afternoon,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. “It was a textbook road win. Everybody contributed. There was good focus and execution throughout most of the game.”
The Monarchs lit the lamp first with a tally by right wing Brandon Kozun
at 8:48 of the opening period. Skating on the power play, center Corey Elkins
battled with a Whale player along the right wing half wall when the puck popped free in the bottom of the near circle. Left wing Dwight King
grabbed the loose puck and tossed it over to Kozun at the bottom inside corner of the left face-off circle. Kozun fired a one-timer that beat goaltender Chad Johnson for the early 1-0 lead.
Left wing David Meckler
doubled the Monarchs lead to 2-0 at 6:05 of the final period. Meckler and right wing John Zeiler battled along the left wing boards with the Whale to keep the puck in. After briefly losing possession of the puck and coming outside the Whale’s zone, defenseman Jordan Hill passed the puck up to left wing Richard Clune
who carried it over the blueline and toward Connecticut’s cage. Clune passed the puck over to Meckler at the bottom of the left face-off circle for the one-timer that beat Johnson for his team leading 11th goal of the season.
Clune picked up his fifth goal of the season at 13:29 of the third stanza to give the Monarchs a 3-0 advantage. Zeiler fed the puck to Meckler who fired a shot on Johnson from the high slot. The puck bounced free to the same vicinity and Meckler circled around and flipped a backhand toward the net. Clune was at the top of the crease to redirect the backhand shot into the back of the net.
Jones (13-2-0) picked up his 13th win and his second shutout of the season with 39 saves. Johnson (12-12-3) stopped 17-of-20 shot in his 12th loss of the season.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Connecticut was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.Notables:
Goaltender Martin Jones
earned his second shutout of the season with 39 saves…Jones has won his last six consecutive games between the pipes…Left wing David Meckler
scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season…Left wing Richard Clune
has six points (3-3=6) in his last five games…Right wing John Zeiler has picked up six points (1-5=6) in his last four games…Defenseman Jordan Hill collected his first AHL points, an assist, in tonight’s game.