MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs shutout the Providence Bruins, 3-0, in their second annual Mullets in Movember at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
The Monarchs (7-3-0-1) lead the Atlantic Division with 15 points. The Bruins (4-6-0-0) rank fifth in the division with eight points.
“We were harder on the puck (than last game) and we executed well especially on the break outs,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I thought we came out clean. They applied a lot of pressure. I thought we handled their pressure very well. The guys were composed and we were harder on the back check which allowed our ‘D’ to be way more aggressive and I thought our preparation was evident.”
The Monarchs scored the first goal of the night at 11:21 of the first with a shorthanded goal from center Andrei Loktionov. The Monarchs won a defensive zone face-off and defenseman Slava Voynov cleared the puck down the ice. As it bounced off the end wall, left wing Dwight King swiped the puck away from a Bruins defenseman giving chase and found Loktionov in between the face-off circles. Loktionov fired the puck behind Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg for the eventual game-winning goal and his fourth tally of the season.
Left wing Tanner Pearson gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead as their power play expired at 7:14 of the third period. As the Monarchs applied pressure in the Bruins zone, Voynov passed from the left wing corner to defenseman Thomas Hickey at the left point. Hickey launched a one-timer which produce a rebound to the right doorstep. Pearson corralled it and backhanded in his third goal of the season.
At 18:33 of the third period, King put the game out of reach making the score 3-0. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers dumped the puck around the boards from the left point to the right wing corner in the Bruins zone. Right wing Brandon Kozun battled with a Bruins defenseman at the right wing half wall, winning the puck and playing it to King in the right wing face-off circle. King stalled just long enough for a Bruins defenseman to go down and slide out of the way before wristing the puck into the net for his first goal of the season.
Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones (6-3-1) earned his third shutout and sixth win of the season making saves on all 19 shots he faced. Svedberg (4-2-0) took his second loss of the season with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester was 0-for-7 on the power play. Providence also went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs have four shorthanded goals on the season ranking second in the American Hockey League…Center Andrei Loktionov scored shorthanded for the second time this season… Defenseman Vincent LoVerde made his Monarchs and AHL debut…Monarchs right wing Brandon Kozun has 12 points in 11 games this season and has a three-game point streak (2-2=4)…Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones registered his third shutout of the season tying him with Springfield Falcons netminder Curtis McElhinney for most in the AHL.
The Monarchs return to action for the second annual Education Day at the Verizon Wireless Arena against the Adirondack Phantoms at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 14. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network at WGIR 610 AM, WGIRAM.com and at ManchesterMonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.