HARTFORD, CT – The Manchester Monarchs were unable to collect a point to clinch a playoff spot in the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs as the Hartford Wolf Pack skated away with a 3-1 victory at the Hartford Civic Center in front of 3,191 fans on Wednesday afternoon.
Manchester (38-25-2-4, 82 points) is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford (40-20-2-6, 88 points) is in second place in the Atlantic Division.
The first period belonged to special teams as all three goals came on the power play. Monarchs defenseman Joe Rullier, in his first appearance since being loaned to Manchester from Hartford, rifled a slap shot past Wolf Pack goaltender Al Montoya for his seventh goal of the season, first with the Monarchs. On the power play, left wing Noah Clarke and right wing Alexandre Daigle cycled the puck along the right wing boards before sending the puck up to Rullier at the center point for the goal at 8:31 of the opening frame.
The Wolf Pack tied the game at 1-1 with right wing Colby Genoway's power play goal at 10:34 of the first period. Defenseman Thomas Pock collected a pass from left wing Chad Wiseman and then sent a cross-ice feed over to Genoway who one-timed the puck from the left face-off dot past Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust.
Pock assisted on Hartford's second power play tally of the contest at 18:20 of the opening stanza. Pinned along the right boards, Pock chipped a pass up to center Dwight Helminen who carried the puck to the slot. As he was falling to the ice, Helminen flipped the puck over Brust's blocker for his 26th goal of the season. Defenseman Ivan Baranka also assisted on the goal to give the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead.
The lone goal in the second period came off the stick of left wing Nigel Dawes at 4:53. Genoway carried the puck down the left wing while fighting off Monarchs defenders. At the goal line, Genoway backhanded the puck to Dawes, streaking down the slot. Dawes sailed his 31st goal of the season into the net from point blank range.
Brust (17-12-1) took the loss with 22 saves. Montoya (20-5-1) earned his 20th victory of the season stopping 33 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-9 on the power play. Hartford was 2-for-7 with the man advantage.