PROVIDENCE, RI – The Providence Bruins scored quickly and scored often to prevail over the Manchester Monarchs, 6-4, in front of 4,027 fans at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Wednesday night.
Manchester (23-23-4-2) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 52 points. Providence (38-10-2-1) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points.
Left wing Aaron Slattengren added his second goal of the night at 7:04 of the final period while on the power play. Goaltender Erik Ersberg stopped a blast from defenseman Matt Hunwick and thought he had the puck covered in the crease. Slattengren found the loose puck and poked it over the goal line for a 5-3 lead for Providence. Left wing T.J. Trevelyan earned an assist on the eventual game-winner.
The Bruins hopped on the scoreboard with four goals in the first eight minutes and 40 seconds of the game. Just 46-seconds into the first period, center Matt Hendricks beat Monarchs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin on the second shot of the game. Defenseman Sean Curry's shot was denied by Aubin but Hendricks was on the doorstep for the quick rebound to give the Bruins the very early lead. Right wing Martins Karsums earned an assist on Hendricks first goal of the night and 15th of the season.
Slattengren increased Providence's lead to 2-0 at 4:52 of the opening frame by burying a pass from center Nate Thompson. Left wing Chris Collins sent the puck behind the Monarchs net to Thompson. Slattengren positioned himself in the bottom of the left face-off circle to pick up the pass from Thompson for a one-timer that beat Aubin for his fifth goal of the season.
Hendricks doubled his point total for the night with his second goal at 7:22 of the first period. On the power play, Curry crashed the net and had his shot stopped by Aubin. Hendrickson found himself open on the right corner of the crease to pick up the rebound and advance the Bruins to 3-0. Left wing Pascal Pelletier collected an assist on Hendrickson's 16th goal of the season.
Left wing Matt Moulson put the Monarchs on the scoreboard at 8:30 of the opening stanza. Defenseman Drew Bagnall fired a blast from the point that moved goaltender Jordan Sigalet out of position as he misplayed the puck. Moulson found himself at the top of the crease with the puck and an open net for his 18th goal of the season. Center Gabe Gauthier assisted on Moulson's goal that came on the Monarchs first shot of the game.
Just 10-seconds following Moulson's goal, right wing Jeff Hogan collected the puck along the left wing boards and beat Aubin for his 22nd goal of the season.
Aubin was chased from the net after allowing four goals on six shots in 8:40 of playing time in the first period. Ersberg took over between the pipes for Manchester.
Monarchs defenseman Troy Milam cut the Bruins lead in half when he scored his eighth goal of the season at 3:55 of the second period. Right wing Teddy Purcell fed the puck up to the left point and onto the stick of Milam. Blasting a slap shot past Sigalet, Milam brought the game to 4-2.
Right wing Lauri Tukonen added to the scoresheet his fifth goal of the season at 8:30 of the middle frame. Collecting a pass along the Bruins blueline from defenseman Joe Piskula, Tukonen carried the puck into the offensive territory, fought off two defenders and found the back of the net to bring the Monarchs to within one goal.
Pelletier scored his 26th goal of the season at 15:43 by picking up the rebound in the right face-off circle off a shot from defenseman Matt Lashoff. Pelletier's rebound goal came on the power play and gave the Bruins a little insurance with just over four minutes left in the game. Defenseman Brett Skinner collected an assist on the final Providence goal of the night.
The Monarchs tallied a power play goal at 16:13 of the final game to finish off the scoring. Defenseman Peter Harrold sent a slap shot from the left point toward the net and Gauthier tipped it past Sigalet for his 18th goal of the season. Milam recorded an assist on the goal.
Ersberg took the loss stopping 21-of-23 shots in two and a half periods of play. Sigalet earned the win for Providence with 30 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-6 on the power play. Providence was 3-for-6 with the man advantage.