PHILADELPHIA, PA – Goaltender Scott Munroe stopped 43 shots as the Manchester Monarchs fell, 2-1, to the Philadelphia Phantoms in front of 7,198 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum on Friday night.
Manchester (18-21-0-5, 41 points) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia (25-19-1-1, 52 points) is tied for fourth place in the East Division.
"We outplayed Philadelphia," said Head Coach Mark Morris. "The difference was the wrister from the blueline. We had several opportunities in the third period but our power play couldn't find the back of the net."
Defenseman Michael Ratchuk doubled the Phantoms lead with his third tally of the season at 18:17 of the opening period. On the power play, right wing Rob Sirianni had the puck deep in the Monarchs zone and cycled it up the right wing boards to center Jonathan Matsumoto. The puck was then forwarded to the center point to Ratchuk. The defenseman fired a quick wrist shot on net as he fell to the ice. The puck traveled through traffic and into the back of the net to give the Phantoms a 2-0 advantage.
The game started off with a scary moment as Monarchs right wing Kevin Westgarth dropped the gloves with Phantoms left wing Garrett Klotz during the opening face-off. As the fight ended near the Monarchs bench, Westgarth got the final punch in. Klotz was taken off the ice on a stretcher after suffering a facial laceration and seizures on the ice due to the hit. Klotz was awake and alert on the way to the hospital. | TSN Reports on the Incident.
The Phantoms answered in the first period with two tallies. Right wing Matt Clackson struck first with his second goal of the season at 11:15 of the opening period. Right wing Rob Bellamy carried the puck down the left wing and put a shot on net. Monarchs' goaltender Jonathan Bernier made the save but Clackson was on the doorstep for the rebound. Center Nate Raduns picked up an assist on the first goal of the game.
Left wing Scott Parse cut Philadelphia's lead in half with his ninth goal of the season at 16:54 of the middle frame. Defenseman Davis Drewiske sent the puck behind the Phantoms' net for center Justin Azevedo. The rookie centerman passed the puck into the slot for a one-timer by Parse that beat Munroe.
"We outplayed them from start to finish; it's a tough pill to swallow when we played so well and didn't win," said Morris. "We competed exceptionally well and controlled the game territorially. It's a tough one to understand."
Bernier (10-13-3) took his 13th loss of the season with 19 saves. Munroe (19-10-1) earned his 19th win of the season stopping 43-of-44 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Philadelphia was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.