MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs earned a much-needed 4-1 victory over the Lowell Lock Monsters at the Verizon Wireless Arena in front 9,502 fans on Friday night to piggy-back the Providence Bruins loss tonight and move back into third place in the Atlantic Division.
Manchester (42-30-3-4, 91 points) is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Lowell (28-36-6-8, 70 points) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Left wing Noah Clarke put the Monarchs on the board at 17:28 of the first period to give Manchester the lead heading into the locker room. The play started on defense as defenseman Richard Petiot fed the puck to right wing Alexandre Daigle who returned the favor and handed the puck over to Clarke. Skating through the Lock Monsters zone, Clarke brought the puck up to the crease and threw a shot over downed goaltender Craig Kowalski. Clarke's 14th goal of the season gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead.
Center Matt Ryan doubled the Monarchs lead at 12:13 of the middle frame with his 12th goal of the season. Defenseman Richard Seeley dug the puck out of the right corner of the Lock Monsters zone and sent it to the front of the net. Right wing Tim Jackman redirected the puck to Ryan who was just a couple feet to the left of his wingman. Ryan sent the puck soaring into the back of the net for the two-goal lead.
A post-goal scrum ensued in the left corner of Lowell's zone and put the Monarchs on the power play. Earning a two-man advantage 1:09 later, defenseman Joe Rullier blasted a one-timer from the center point for his eighth goal of the season. Defenseman Brad Fast and Daigle assisted on the power play goal at 14:12 of the second period.
Ending Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust's shutout bid, center David Gove scored his 20th goal of the season at 3:34 of the final period. Center Keith Aucoin passed the puck over to Gove who fired a shot on Brust. Making the save, the puck jumped right back to Gove and he ripped the backhand into the net.
Jackman chipped in a rebound off Seeley's shot from the hash marks for the Monarchs fourth goal of the game at 15:37 of the last stanza. Center Connor James assisted on Jackman's ninth goal of the season to give the Monarchs a 4-1 win.
Brust (18-14-1) earned his 18th victory with 29 saves on the night. Kowalski (5-11-3) took the loss stopping 19 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
The Monarchs will finish their regular season on Saturday, April 15 at the Tsongas Arena when they play the Lock Monsters for the second time in as many nights. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m.
The Monarchs honored five players with awards prior to the start of tonight's game. Defenseman Marty Wilford received the Ace Bailey Most Valuable Player Award, right wing Ryan Murphy was honored with the Mark Bavis Unsung Hero Award, goaltender Adam Hauser earned the Monarchs/AHL Community Service Award and left wing Petr Kanko collected the Union Leader Fan Favorite Award and Booster Club Award.
For more information on the Manchester Monarchs visit thier official team website at www.monarchshockey.com