SPRINGFIELD, MA – Goaltender Barry Brust stopped all 27 shots he faced for his first American Hockey League shutout as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Springfield Falcons 4-0 in front of a crowd of 3,697 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
Manchester (20-8-1-3, 44 points) is in second place in the Atlantic Division. Springfield (14-15-1-3, 32 points) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
After a Springfield goal was waived off because it was hit with a high-stick, center Connor James scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead at 19:53 of the first period. Right wing Ryan Murphy was in the penalty box for holding when James stole the puck at center ice and skated toward Falcons goaltender Gerald Coleman with two defensemen on his heels. James shot the puck from point blank range and Coleman got a piece of it but the rest of James' shot trickled over the goal line for his ninth goal of the season.
Left wing Jeff Tambellini doubled the Monarchs lead to 2-0 at 2:23 of the middle frame with his 16th goal of the season. Tambellini juggled a pass from forward Brendan Bernakevitch and took the puck into the corner to regroup. After gaining control of the puck, Tambellini threw a bad-angle shot to the net that snuck by Coleman's feet and into the net. Right wing Brad Smyth assisted on Tambellini's first goal in seven games.
The Monarchs extended their lead to 3-0 when right wing Konstantin Pushkarev collected his 10th of the season, unassisted at 1:47 of the third period. Pushkarev stole the puck from a Falcons player along the far boards in the Springfield zone, skated up to Coleman and sent a shot into the back of the net that squeezed between Coleman's blocker and right pad.
Tambellini shoveled in his 17th of the season and second of the night at 18:07 of the third period. Smyth passed the puck to James who sent a shot in on Coleman. The initial shot was stopped by Coleman but Tambellini was on the doorstep to grab the rebound. Tambellini poked at the puck several times and Coleman thought he had it covered but the Monarchs leading scorer picked up the loose puck and slipped it around Coleman and into the open net.
Brust (5-1-1) earned his first shutout and fifth win of the season stopping all 27 shots he faced. Coleman (11-8-1) took his eighth loss of the season with 22 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
For more information on the Manchester Monarchs visit thier official team website at www.monarchshockey.com