MANCHESTER, NH – Center Gabe Gauthier chipped in the game-winner to lead the Manchester Monarchs to their ninth straight victory, a 3-1 win over the Providence Bruins in front of 8,517 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (31-12-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 69 points. Providence (26-19-1-3) is ranked third place in the Atlantic Division with 56 points.
Left wing Petr Kanko scored his first goal since November 25, 2006 to put the Monarchs on the board early. Center Matt Ryan picked up the loose puck outside the Bruins blueline and passed it over to Kanko along the right boards. Kanko carried the puck into the zone and snapped a wrist shot that sailed over Bruins netminder Jordan Sigalet, hit off the crossbar and into the net for his fifth tally of the season. Defenseman T.J. Kemp assisted on the goal at 13:13 of the opening period.
The Bruins evened the score at 1-1 when left wing T.J. Trevelyan tallied his 16th goal of the season. Center Ben Walter picked up the puck behind the Monarchs net and attempted a wrap around goal. Manchester goaltender Jason LaBarbera made the pad save but the rebound trickled onto the stick Trevelyan who flipped the rebound over the netminder's right pad and into the net. Center Pascal Pelletier assisted on the Bruins lone goal at 15:48 of the second period.
Gauthier scored his 10th of the season 12-seconds into the final period to give the Monarchs back their lead. Kemp shot the puck on net from the left point and right wing John Zeiler picked up the rebound to the right of Sigalet. Zeiler backhanded the puck to Gauthier streaking into the slot for the one-timer.
Clinching the victory with three seconds left to play in the game, left wing Matt Moulson scored an empty net goal from the Bruins blueline. Defenseman Joey Mormina assisted on the insurance goal.
LaBarbera earned the win with 24 saves. Sigalet took the loss stopping 33-of-35.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.