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Monarchs blanked for first time this season

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
PROVIDENCE, RI – Goaltender Matt Dalton halted all 34 shots on goal that he faced, lifting the Providence Bruins over the Manchester Monarchs by a 3-0 score Friday evening at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Manchester (24-13-1-1) took their 13th loss of the season, remaining in first place in the Atlantic Division with 50 points on the season.  Providence (15-17-2-1) collects their 15th win of the season, placing them seventh in the Atlantic Division with 33 points.

“A lackluster first period set the tone for the game.  Early on, we were outmuscled and out of sync,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game.  “Providence made the most of their chances at the outset while we applied big time pressure throughout most of the second period.  We had several chances to score but were unable to capitalize.

“The third period, we expended lots of energy but it was all for naught.  We’ll need to be better at the start tomorrow and learn from this effort,” said Morris.  “To be a top team, expectations are lofty so it’s important to rebound and move forward.”

Center Joe Colborne scored his ninth goal of the season to put Providence on the board first at 15:54 of the first period.  Following several failed clearing attempts by the Monarchs, the puck was gathered and passed back to defenseman Jeff Penner at the right point.  A powerful blast on net was knocked down by Monarchs netminder Martin Jones, but the puck spilled out onto to the stick of left wing Antoine Roussel, positioned in the crease.  A quick Roussel shot was denied by Jones, but the rebound was forced home by Colborne in the midst of heavy crease traffic.  Colborne’s fourth goal of the season against the Monarchs gave the Bruins an early 1-0 advantage.

Left wing Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman scored his fifth goal of the season at 3:27 of the second period.  Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk cleared the puck out of the Providence defensive zone up ice to center Zach Hamill, positioned in the neutral zone.  A quick dish from Hamill caught the stick of Lavallee-Smotherman, breaking into the Monarchs zone.  With a spring in his step, the winger skated up the right wing boards and around a Monarchs defender, wristing the puck just below the blocker of Jones, putting Providence up by two goals.

Right wing Kirk MacDonald scored his fifth goal of the season at 5:34 of the third period.  Defenseman Yury Alexandrov cleared the puck from the Bruins zone to center Jamie Arniel.  At the red line, Arniel passed the puck up ice to MacDonald, who entered the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break alongside center Maxime Sauve. As MacDonald skated toward the left wing corner with the puck, Sauve cut in front of Jones as MacDonald was shooting from the bottom of the left face-off circle.  Jones, shielded by Sauve, was unable to stop the wrist shot, giving Providence their third unanswered goal of the game.

Jones (13-3-0) drew his third loss of the season, turning aside 28-of-31 shots on goal.  Dalton (2-2-0) collected his second victory of the season, halting all 34 shots on net.

Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play.  Providence was also 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

Notables:  Tonight’s shutout by Providence marked the first time all season that the Monarchs were held scoreless in a game…The last time the Monarchs were shutout was April 10, 2010 in a road game against Bridgeport (2-0 L)…Left wing David Meckler skated in his 261st game with the Monarchs this evening, tying defenseman Doug Nolan for sixth place all-time in franchise history in that category…With the loss, goaltender Martin Jones snapped a season-high six game win streak.
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