PROVIDENCE, RI ? Goaltender Jonathan Quick
stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Providence Bruins 2-0 in front of 6,791 fans at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday night. The Monarchs will face-off with the Bruins in a best of seven 2008 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinals series starting in Providence on Wednesday, April 16.
Manchester (39-30-5-5) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 88 points. Providence (53-17-3-4) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 115 points.
Following a hit from behind that took out Monarchs rookie defenseman Josh Kidd, center Marc-Andre Cliche emerged from the penalty box after serving a roughing call for sticking up for his teammate to score his 11th goal of the season at 12:43 of the opening frame. Right wing John Zeiler fed the puck to Cliche in neutral territory and the center began his rush down the right wing. Along the edge of the right face-off circle, Cliche snapped a wrist shot that ricocheted off of goaltender Tuukka Rask's glove and into the net. Rask thought he had the puck but misjudged the shot and turned to try to save it from the crossing the goal line but was too late. Defenseman Jeff Likens earned an assist on the first tally of the night.
Zeiler doubled the Monarchs lead at 9:39 of the second period with his sixth goal of the season. Defenseman Richard Petiot shot the puck from the point and Zeiler crashed the net with centers Matt Ryan and David Meckler. After Rask made the initial save, Zeiler flipped in the rebound to give the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage.
Quick stopped all 26 shots he faced for his 11th win of the season. Rask took the loss with 18 saves on 20 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-8 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.