MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs were routed by the Albany River Rats, 7-1, in front of 5,903 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday evening. The Monarchs opened the doors to the arena for those in the community affected by the ice storm and were without power in their homes. A total of 1,550 fans took the team up on their offer to come to the game for free.
Manchester (10-10-0-4, 24 points) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. Albany (9-11-3-2, 23 points) is tied for sixth place in the East Division.
Only three minutes after Albany first got on the scoreboard, they registered another tally to put them up by two. At the 12-minute mark, left wing Michael Ryan stole the puck from a Monarchs defenseman and found right wing Jakub Petruzalek soaring down the right wing boards. Ryan gave Petruzalek a lead pass to give him the edge over the Monarch defenseman. The right wing then fired a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle off the post and in the net. It was Petruzalek's eighth goal of the season which ended up the game-winning tally.
The River Rats got on the board in the first period when right winger Pat Dwyer put one past Monarchs' netminder Jonathan Bernier at the 8:59-mark. Center Dwight Helminen made a crisp pass from the corner boards on to Dwyer's stick at the top of the right face-off circle. Dwyer took a snap shot toward the net and was blocked by Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell. The right wing followed his shot to the net and got the puck to ricochet off Campbell's leg and in to the back of the net. Right winger Jerome Samson also got the assist on the play.
Continuing the scoring in the first period by Albany was off Samson's stick at 16:17. Samson received a pass from Dwyer in between the two hash marks and put a backhander past Bernier. Defenseman Jonathan Paiement received the other assist on the tally.
The second period started out with goaltender Jonathan Quick relieving Bernier between the pipes. At 7:54 of the middle frame, Albany scored their first power play goal of the night. While using the umbrella style formation, defenseman Mark Flood received the puck from Ryan and one timed it five-hole past Quick. Petruzalek picked up his second assist on the night.
A few minutes later, the Monarchs went down to a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation that resulted in another River Rats goal. Defenseman Steve Ward lit the lamp for his first tally of the year when he ripped a one-timer from Ryan just inside the blueline and put it top shelf on Quick. Dwyer also got an assist on the goal that put Albany up 5-0.
The Monarchs notched their lone goal of the game when right winger David Meckler scored his sixth tally of the year on the power play at the 16:55 of the second period. Left wing Vladimir Dravecky passed the puck to Campbell along the right wing boards. The defenseman took a wrist shot at the top of the face-off circle that Meckler deflected by goaltender Daniel Manzato.
The third period resulted with Ryan's second and third goals of the night. Petruzalek gave Ryan a slick pass that the left wing delivered a booming one-timer top shelf over Quick's glove. Right wing Nick Dodge also received an assist on the tally.
Ryan put the icing on the cake at 17:19 of the final period when he scored his third goal and completed the hat trick. Petruzalek sent Ryan on a breakaway with a saucer pass that skipped over a Monarchs defenseman's stick. Ryan deeked around Quick and sent a backhand in under the crossbar. This was Ryan's first hat trick in a River Rats uniform. His five points were the most he has tallied in one game this year.
Bernier (5-5-2) took the loss with seven saves on 10 shots through 20 minutes of playing time. Quick (5-5-2) stopped 16 shots in relief of Bernier. Manzato (6-6-0) earned his sixth victory of the season with 25 saves.
Manchester was 0-for-4 on the power play. Albany went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.