MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs took a 3-1 victory against Providence Bruins in their Season Opener at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night.
Manchester (1-0-0-0) leads the Atlantic Division with two points. The Bruins (0-1-0-0) are tied for second place in the Division with zero points.
“We are pleased with the result,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “I thought as the game progressed, we picked it up. It was a game that was marred with penalties. It was real hard to get any kind of momentum going our way but we had two fortunate bounces off of rebounds and we drove the net hard in the third and it paid off.”
Manchester took the lead, 2-1, at 1:43 of the third period with a power play goal by center Andrew Andreoff. Defenseman Jake Muzzin grabbed a loose puck along the left wing half wall and sent a pass into traffic in front of the Bruins net. Right wing Brandon Kozun deflected the puck to the top of the crease where Andreoff flipped it into the net for his first tally of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Bruins started the scoring at 15:38 of the opening period when right wing Jamie Tardif put a rebound past Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones. Center Ryan Spooner skated the puck down the left wing to the face-off circle on a two-on-one breakaway before wristing a shot on goal. Spooner’s shot was stopped by Jones and redirected into the right face-off circle. Tardif one-timed the rebound for his first goal of the season. Tardif’s goal was also assisted by left wing Maxime Sauve.
The Monarchs tied the game at 1-1 at 19:43 of the second period with a shorthanded goal scored by center Andrei Loktionov. Muzzin sent a breakout pass off the left wing boards in the neutral zone and Loktionov chipped it over the Bruins blueline. Loktionov carried the puck through the left wing face-off circle, faked a shot, skated into the slot and lifted the puck over a Bruins defenseman and past netminder Michael Hutchinson. Loktionov’s first of the season was also assisted by defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk.
Center Linden Vey gave the Monarchs an insurance goal at 16:49 of the final frame with his first goal of the season. Right wing Stefan Legein found Vey between the Bruins hash marks. The second year center roofed the puck past Hutchinson for the 3-1 final.
Jones (1-0-0) earned his first win of the season stopping 29-of-30 shots. Hutchinson (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season making 18 saves on 21 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. The Bruins were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Manchester Monarchs improves their record in Season Openers to 5-7-0-0…The Monarchs are 2-5-0-0 when they open their season on the road…Manchester collected an even strength goal, a power play tally and a shorthanded goal…Monarchs center Andrei Loktionov scored his second career shorthanded goal in the American Hockey League...Monarchs defenseman Jake Muzzin collected two assists and was on the ice for every goal that was scored in the game.
The Monarchs travel to the Times Union Center to take on the Albany Devils at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com. The Monarchs will return home the following weekend for their Home Opener against the Bruins on Friday, October 19. Secure your seats for the Monarchs Home Opening Weekend, presented by AutoFair, through the Opening Weekend Pack! Get two great seats for either the Opening Night game on Friday, October 19 or Opening Saturday game on October 20 as the Monarchs drop the puck on their 12th season in Manchester. In addition, you will receive four flex vouchers and a limited edition Opening Weekend puck (exclusive to this package). For more information, visit www.manchestermonarchs.com or call the Monarchs Front Office at (603) 626-7825.