|Oscar Moller scored the game-winner for Manchester.
MANCHESTER, NH – Center Oscar Moller stole the show late in the third period as he buried the puck five-hole on a penalty shot to give the Manchester Monarchs their fifth consecutive win of the season, a 2-1 victory over the Providence Bruins at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (8-2-0-0) remains in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with 16 points. Providence (4-4-1-0) dropped to sixth place in the Atlantic Division with nine points.
"Winning is a lot of fun," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "We seem to be finding ways to win. Starting in goal, solid defensive effort, a strong penalty kill and timely scoring has helped us generate momentum this early on in the season."
Moller scored his fourth goal of the season, on a penalty shot, to give the Monarchs a 2-1 lead with only 1:51 remaining in the third period. To earn the penalty shot, Moller received a pass streaking past the Bruins blueline toward the Providence goalie. Moller had only one defender in front of him and one a couple strides behind him. The Providence defenseman took a dive in an attempt to knock the puck from Moller’s stick. Instead of hitting the puck, the Bruins player got a piece of Moller’s skate which brought the center to the ground. The officials called a penalty shot and it was Moller who was going to take it one-on-one with Providence goaltender Dany Sabourin. Moller took the puck at center ice and started out skating wide to the left then cut to the right. Moller faked the shot to the left which caused Sabourin to go down into the butterfly. Moller slid the puck right between the goaltender’s legs.
Monarchs right winger John Zeiler scored his second goal of the season to give the hometown team the 1-0 lead at 15:52 of the first period. Right wing Brandon Segal dumped the puck in behind Providence’s net. The Bruins defender, tied up by Segal, attempted to dish the puck to his lone teammate nearby, but the Monarchs right winger stole the puck and broke from the play. Segal took the puck into the right corner and sent it back to the right point. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov took a slap shot that soared along the ice toward the far post. Standing in the crease, Zeiler tipped the shot up and over the diving goaltender. The puck hit the middle of the net to put the Monarchs up 1-0.
The Bruins answered right back with left wing Guillaume Lefebvre first goal of the season only a minute and a half after Zeiler’s goal. The Bruins brought the puck down the left wing boards toward Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. With traffic in the crease and several Providence players swiping at the puck, Bernier turned aside two short range opportunities before Lefebvre was able to bury the rebound from left wing Jeff LoVecchio’s shot. Bernier made the save on LoVecchio with his left pad but Lefebvre was open on the right side to bury it into the open net. Defenseman Andy Wozniewski picked up his team leading tenth assist and fifteenth point on the year.
Bernier (6-1-0) earned his sixth win of the season stopping 28-of-29 shots he faced in the game. Sabourin (4-3-0) took his third loss of the season stopping 21-of-23 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: Center Oscar Moller scored his first goal with the Monarchs since returning from the Los Angeles Kings on October 20…The last time the Monarchs had a penalty shot was April 4, 2009 against Worcester when left wing Matt Moulson failed to score against goaltender Thomas Greiss…The Monarchs last scored on a penalty shot on February 26, 2005 when center Matt Ryan scored against Hartford. Right wing Brandon Segal is on a four-game assist and point (0-6=6) streak…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s shutout streak was ended at 138 minutes and 50 seconds.