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MONARCHS FALL TO DEVILS

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
LOWELL, MA – The Manchester Monarchs fell to the Lowell Devils for the second time in two days with a 5-1 loss in front of 3,535 fans at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester (23-24-4-3) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points. Lowell (15-28-5-4) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 39 points.

As Monarchs left wing Paul Crosty sat in the penalty box with a five-minute major for high sticking, right wing Barry Tallackson collected his 17th goal of the season to put the Devils up 2-1. Right wing Grant Marshall shot the puck wide and center Ivan Khomutov picked up the loose disk and sent it to Tallackson in the right face-off circle for the goal at 18:47 of the second period.

Devils right wing Nicklas Bergfors scored his first of two goals on the night at 4:35 of the first period. Bergfors stole the puck in the corner from the Monarchs and handed it off to Khomutov behind the net. Bergfors put himself in position in front of Monarchs goaltender Erik Ersberg for the pass from Khomutov. Lifting the puck into the top of the net, Bergfors scored his seventh goal. Center Petr Vrana earned an assist on the play.

Center Gabe Gauthier found the back of the net for the Monarchs at 6:34 of the opening frame to even the score at 1-1. On the power play, defenseman Troy Milam found Gauthier on the left wing and the center beat goaltender Dave Caruso with a quick wrist shot for his 19th goal of the season. Defenseman Peter Harrold collected an assist on the lone Monarchs goal.

Following Tallackson's power play goal in the second period to give the Devils the 2-1 lead, left wing Patrick Davis doubled Lowell's lead with an unassisted goal at 6:26 of the final stanza. Davis picked up the puck in the neutral zone and carried it down the left wing. Davis side-stepped Monarchs defenseman Drew Bagnall and sent a backhander top-shelf over Ersberg for his sixth tally of the season.

Continuing with their scoring prowess, Lowell added two more insurance tallies in the third period. At 12:54 of the final frame, Bergfors recorded his second goal of the night. On the power play, Vrana found Bergfors open in the slot. Tallackson earned an assist on Bergfors' eighth tally of the season.

Khomutov finished the afternoon off with his second of the game at 13:30 of the third period. The center skated down the right wing with only one Monarchs defenseman to beat. Khomutov shot the puck and then capitalized on his own rebound as Ersberg thought he had control of the puck. Left wing Stephen Gionta earned an assist on the final goal of the night.

Ersberg took the loss with 27 saves. Caruso earned the win with 31 saves on 32 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-7 on the power play. Lowell was 2-for-9 with the man advantage.

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