|Cliche's OT winner was waived off as the Monarchs fell in a shootout. |
ALBANY, NY – After a goal by center Marc-Andre Cliche
was waved off in overtime, Albany River Rats’ goaltender Justin Peters stopped all three shootout snipers to give the Manchester Monarchs a 3-2 loss in a shootout at the Times Union Center on Friday night.
Manchester (24-11-1-4) remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points. Albany (19-15-2-2) is in second place in the East Division with 42 points.
“Having watched the replay, it’s clear to us we should have come away with the win,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “(The River Rats) were able to finish on their opportunities and we came up shorthanded.
“We dominated throughout the game but a costly penalty at the end cost us a power play goal which tied it up and forced overtime and the shootout. The effort was there (in the shootout) but the execution could have been better.”
Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped defenseman Jamie McBain in the shootout but could not hold off left wingers Jacob Mickflikier, Chris Terry or Drayson Bowman. Peters denied all three Monarchs shooters as centers Juraj Mikus, Corey Elkins and Gabe Gauthier could not find the back of the net.
Albany kicked off the scoring with Bowman’s seventh goal of the season only 1:36 into the game. Mickflikier dumped the puck into the Monarchs zone and beat Manchester’s defense to the puck along the end boards. Mickflikier sent the puck to the bottom of the left face-off circle where Bowman was positioned for the pass. Bowman snapped a shot on net that barely squeaked through Bernier’s equipment before it trickled over the goal line.
Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov tied the game at 1-1 with his seventh goal of the season at the 43-second mark of the third period. Left wing David Meckler won a battle along the left wing boards just inside the River Rats blueline and tossed the puck toward the center of the zone. Elkins nudged it over to right wing Richard Clune in the high slot. Clune carried the puck into the right face-off circle before he flipped a backhand shot at Peters. The netminder made the save and the rebound popped out to the slot for the one-timer by Voynov.
The Monarchs took a 2-1 lead with Cliche’s 10th goal of the season at 3:44 of the final frame. Left wing Dwight King carried the puck down the right wing, behind the net and flicked a wrist shot at Peters. The puck bounced around the crease as right wing Kevin Westgarth swiped at it followed by Cliche burying it top shelf.
Tying the game at 15:54 of the third stanza, Albany pushed overtime and the shootout with a power play goal by left wing Nicolas Blandchard. Mickflikier cycled the puck to McBain at the right point. McBain stopped the puck and then blasted a shot that was deflected past Bernier by Blandchard for his fifth goal of the season.
It appeared as if Cliche had scored his second goal of the game at the 59-second point of the overtime period but the officials waived off the goal stating it was hit in with a high stick.
Bernier (17-9-4) took his fourth shootout loss of the season with 33 saves on 35 shots in regulation and overtime and one shootout save. Peters (11-10-2) earned his 11th win of the season stopping 38-of-40 in regulation and overtime followed by all three shootout snipers.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Albany was 1-of-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is undefeated in regulation in their last three games, recording one win and two shootout losses…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier has dropped all four shootouts he’s been in net for this season…Center Marc-Andre Cliche’s 10 goal of the season ties center Corey Elkins and left wing Bud Holloway for the team lead in goals scored…Cliche has recorded four goals in his last three games.