MANCHESTER, NH – Goaltender Jason LaBarbera's gritty performance between the pipes gave the Manchester Monarchs a 2-0 shutout over the Lowell Devils in front of 6,328 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (11-8-5-1) moves into third place in the Atlantic Division with 28 points. Lowell (12-11-2-1) drops to fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 27 points.
The Monarchs jumped on the scoreboard at 15:59 of the first period with a rebound goal by right wing Ryan Murphy off right wing Mike Hoffman's initial shot from the top of the right face-off circle. Hoffman's wrist shot was saved by the right pad of Lowell netminder Jordan Parise. Murphy picked up the puck and buried it into the net for his fourth goal of the season. Defenseman Joey Mormina also recorded an assist on the goal.
In the final stanza, the Monarchs extended their lead to 2-0 at 7:33. After being bent over backwards into the Lowell bench by Devils captain and defenseman Dan McGillis, center Patrick O'Sullivan received a tape-to-tape pass from right wing Konstantin Pushkarev at the blueline. Skating in all alone on a breakaway, O'Sullivan deked to the right and then buried the puck, top-shelf over Parise's blocker. The goal was O'Sullivan's eighth tally of the season. Defenseman Brendan Buckley also assisted on the second goal of the night.
LaBarbera earned the win, his third shutout of the season, stopping all 34 shots he faced. Parise received the loss stopping 22 shots on 24 attempts.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Lowell was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Tonight's game was the third annual Bellman's Jewelers Diamond Giveaway where the first 1,000 women received envelopes containing diamonds when they entered the game. A total of 999 diamonds were cubic zirconium and one envelope contained a half-carat diamond worth $2,000. The lucky winner was Kate Phenysysouvanh from Manchester, New Hampshire.
The Monarchs return to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday, December 9 for a 7:35 p.m. face-off with the Portland Pirates. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR-AM 610 and at www.monarchshockey.com
. Watch the game live on B2 Networks for just $6 per game. Log onto www.monarchshockey.com
and click on the link to B2 Networks ten minutes prior to each Monarchs game to watch the game live!