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MONARCHS FREEZE ICEHOGS

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MANCHESTER, NH – On a night dedicated to the Boston Red Sox's success, the Manchester Monarchs had some success of their own, achieving a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rockford IceHogs in front of 6,387 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. Red Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen brought the 2007 World Series Trophy to a pre-game rally on the plaza of the Verizon Wireless Arena and for a pre-game on-ice ceremony and puck drop. The Monarchs Care Foundation and the Red Sox Foundation raised $10,000 for the Webster House in a silent and live auction of the Monarchs game-worn jerseys with a specialty Red Sox 2007 World Series Championship commemorative patch. Proceeds from fans who took their picture with the 2007 World Series Trophy were also included in the net proceeds.

Manchester (8-10-2-1) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 19 points. Rockford (12-6-2-3) is in third place in the West Division with 29 points.

The game-winning goal came on the heels of a shootout as Manchester center Trevor Lewis came through in the clutch, giving the Monarchs a 3-2 victory. After back and forth goals between each team throughout, Lewis' goal proved to be the most costly as his score ended the game. The goal was Lewis' second during the shootout.

The night's first goal was crowned by Monarchs center Gabe Gauthier at 9:48 of the first period, but not without luck. After collecting a pass from right wing Teddy Purcell, Gauthier ripped a shot off just inside the blueline. After his first effort went up and over Rockford goaltender Wade Flaherty, the puck bounced back off the glass, back over Flaherty and into Gauthier's grasp. With little remaining between the puck and the net, Gauthier backhanded his eighth goal of the year before Flaherty could pivot back to his left. Defenseman Brian Boyle also gathered an assist on the goal.

At 9:11 of the second period, Flaherty was replaced by goaltender Corey Crawford who finished out the game. Flaherty stopped 18-of-19 shots through 31 minutes.

Goal number two of the night was added by Lewis at the 12:34 mark of the second frame. After a shot by Purcell ended up behind the net, Lewis quickly found his way to the puck. Lewis' second goal of the season was soon added to the board as the puck squeezed in behind Crawford's left. Gauthier collected his second point of the night by adding an assist to the play.

Refusing to be shutout, Rockford's first goal of the evening arrived at 15:24 of the second period on the power play. With the puck sent around the backside of the net by Rockford center Martin St. Pierre, it was quickly gathered up by center Petri Kontiola to Monarchs goaltender Dan Cloutier's right side. Before a defender could reach Kontiola, a quick pass to right wing Troy Brouwer proved to be crucial in deciding the goal. Kontiola's pass slid in front of Cloutier from right to left and was collected by Brouwer who dumped it into the back of the net before Cloutier could regain his stance.

Adding another goal to the scoreboard, Rockford soon evened the score at 2-2, putting the pressure on the home team. Closely guarded, IceHog right wing Kris Versteeg opened up a shot opportunity by placing the puck in Kontiola's possession between the hash marks. Once gathered in, Kontiola cranked a shot over the shoulder of Cloutier, matching the Monarchs goal total. The goal, scored at the 18:47 mark of the middle frame, was also assisted by left wing Bryan Bickell.

Exciting action both in the third and overtime periods could not generate goals, leading to the game's shootout. Lewis' game-winning goal handed the Monarchs a 3-2 win.

Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Rockford was 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

Cloutier stopped 29-of-31 shots he faced in the win, while Crawford stopped 14 shots.

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