NORFOLK, VA - The Manchester Monarchs held the Norfolk Admirals at bay until the third period when right wing Brandon Bochenski found the back of the net and set the hometown team sailing away with a 2-0 victory at the Norfolk Scope in front of 2,948 fans on Saturday night. The Monarchs’ first loss of the 2009-10 season came at the hands of Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski who stopped all 26 shots he faced in the contest.
Manchester (2-1-0-0) is tied with the Providence Bruins (2-1-0-0) for third place in the Atlantic Division with four points. Norfolk (1-2-0-0) is tied with the Adirondack Phantoms (1-1-0-0) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-2-0-0) for fourth place in the East Division with two points.
"It was another close game tonight," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "(Norfolk) got a bounce off of (Bochenski’s) shin pad and into the net. Then they capitalized when our goalie was pulled for the extra attacker. We squandered a couple of opportunities early in the game. We didn’t have the same jump we had at certain points in the game tonight that we did on Friday night."
It took 45 minutes for a goal to be put on the scoreboard but Bochenski jammed in his second goal of the season and second tally in as many nights against the Monarchs at 5:54 of the final period to post the eventual game-winning tally. Left wing Juraj Semik picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated down the right wing. He cut over the face-off dot, deked around Monarchs defenseman Thomas Hickey and wristed a shot from the bottom of the circle. Manchester’s goaltender Jeff Zatkoff kicked the puck away with his right pad but Bochenski was on the doorstep to knock in the rebound. Center Paul Szczechura earned an assist on the first goal of the game.
Admirals center Ryan Craig tossed the puck into the empty net from the neutral zone at 19:20 of the third period to add a little insurance to Norfolk’s win. Defenseman Ty Wishart assisted on the empty-netter.
"It was a close game," said Morris. "Some of our youth was evident tonight."
Zatkoff (0-1-0) took his first loss of the season with 37 saves on 38 shots. Tokarski (1-1-0) earned his first win of the season and his first shutout of his professional career with 26 saves.
"Zatkoff had an outstanding performance for us," explained Morris. "Unfortunately, we didn’t post any goals to give him the win."
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Norfolk was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Tonight’s loss is the first for Monarchs this season…The last time the Monarchs were shutout was a 2-0 game against the Hamilton Bulldogs with goaltender Cedrick Desjardins in net on December 19, 2008…Tonight’s 2-0 shutout is the 20th time the Monarchs have been shutout in team history…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff’s all-time record in a Monarchs uniform drops to 1-3-0 in four games over the last two seasons…Admirals right wing Brandon Bochenski scored in both games against the Monarchs this weekend, one tally on Friday and one tally on Saturday…Defenseman Andrew Campbell, left wing Richard Clune and right wing Geoff Walker replaced defenseman David Kolomatis, left wing Bud Holloway and center Justin Azevedo in Saturday’s lineup, all were healthy scratches.