PROVIDENCE, RI – Manchester Monarchs defenseman Bryan Rodney scored two goals in his season debut as they fell to the Providence Bruins, 3-2, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night.
Manchester (10-9-2-1) is tied with the St. John’s IceCaps (11-11-0-1) for second place in the Atlantic Division with 23 points each. Providence (10-8-0-2) is tied with the Portland Pirates (10-10-1-1) for fourth place in the Division with 22 points.
“The loss tonight was another game we had a chance to win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Soon we need to find ways to take advantage of strong play without inviting trouble into our game. Lately, we have been our own biggest enemy. It’s time we buckle down and execute for the whole game. On a positive note, Bryan Rodney wasted no time in showing his impact scoring two goals in his first game as a Monarchs player. He was excellent.”
Defenseman Torey Krug scored at 6:02 of the third period to give the Bruins the lead at 3-2. Left wing Lane MacDermid passed the puck from between the benches to Krug on the left wing as he entered the Monarchs zone. With a Monarchs defenseman on him, Krug skated to the top of the left-wing face-off circle before taking a slap shot that beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones on the stick side for his first goal of the season.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 10:49 of the first period with a goal by Rodney. Right wing Tyler Toffoli played the puck back to left wing Tanner Pearson at the left wing half wall. Pearson and Rodney passed the puck back and forth as the defenseman faded to the center point from the left point. Pearson fed it back to Rodney for a one-timer that beat Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg for his first goal of the season.
The Bruins tied the game at 1-1 with a goal by left wing Kyle MacKinnon at 19:18 of the first period. Center Justin Florek took a shot on goal producing a rebound in front of the net. MacKinnon jumped on the puck and backhanded it past Jones for his first goal of the season.
Manchester took a 2-1 lead with Rodney’s second goal of the night at 9:04 of the second period. With the teams playing four-on-four hockey, right wing Stefan Legein gained the Bruins zone on the left wing pulling up at the top of the left wing face-off circle. Legein passed the puck back to center Andrei Loktionov at the right point. Loktionov played it to Rodney at the center point in Bruins territory. Rodney took the pass and skated between the top of the face-off circle before wristing a shot on the stick side of Svedberg for his second goal of the season.
MacKinnon pulled the Bruins even at 2-2 with a goal at 16:18 of the second period. Defenseman David Warsofsky played the puck over to left wing Chris Bourque on the right wing as he entered the neutral zone. Bourque sent a long pass to MacKinnon who was breaking into the Monarchs zone with speed down the middle. MacKinnon split the Monarchs defense and wristed a shot on a partial breakaway that deflected off Jones and into the back of the net for his second goal of the game and of the season.
Jones (7-10-1) took his 10th loss of the season stopping 27-of-30 shots. Svedberg (9-4-1) earned his ninth win of the season making 28 saves on 30 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Providence was also 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 0-for-23 on the power play in their last five games…Defenseman Bryan Rodney scored two goals in his Monarchs debut…Defenseman Andrew Campbell, right wing Stefan Legein and center Andrei Loktionov all returned from injury for the Monarchs…With Loktionov’s return, all four current Monarchs Stanley Cup Champions were on the ice for the first time this season and the first time they were together in a Monarchs uniform since November 12, 2011.
The Monarchs return home to the Verizon Wireless Arena to take on the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network online at WGIR 610 AM, WGIRAM.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.