BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Manchester Monarchs were shutout by goaltender Anders Nilsson and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-0, at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (7-6-0-1) ranks second in the Atlantic Division with 15 points. Bridgeport (9-4-0-0) is in second place in the Northeast Division with 18 points.
"Tonight we struggled again," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "I definitely want to see this young bunch play with some more emotion and more push back when we stumble. We'll need ot be stronger on the puck and become better in our own end. Teaching the nuances of the game and finding consistency are our biggest challenge right now. Everyone will be held accountable. Good teams look for solutions and the demands won't go away in regard to the necessary sacrifices that are clearly expected within the organization. It's important we take ownership in our efforts. Improvements will show as we embrace the way we need to play."
Bridgeport opened the scoring at 13:45 of the first period with a goal by center Nino Niederreiter. Defenseman Jordan Hill wristed a shot from the center point that Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones stopped but the rebound landed in front of the net. Right wing David Ullstrom tipped a bouncing puck to Niederreiter who poked it past Jones for his eighth goal of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Sound Tigers took a 2-0 lead on the power play at 8:41 of the middle stanza with a goal by defenseman Jon Landry. Right wing Max MacKay played the puck back to Landry at the top of the left wing face-off circle. Landry fired a slap shot that deflected off a Monarchs defenseman’s stick and into the net high on the glove side of Jones. Defenseman Aaron Ness also tallied an assist Landry’s second goal of the season.
Bridgeport opened up a 3-0 lead as center Matt Watkins scored his second goal of the season. Right wing Blair Riley played the puck from the right wing corner back to Landry at the right point. Landry took a slap shot that was tipped by Watkins in front of the net beating Jones at 14:52 of the third period.
The Sound Tigers finished the scoring on the power play as Watkins scored his second goal of the game pushing the score to 4-0 at 19:23 of the third period. Hill took a feed from MacKay at the left point. Hill skated toward the center point as he took a slap shot that whistled wide of the Monarchs goal. Hill’s shot caromed off the end boards to the right doorstep where Watkins shot the puck into the net for his third goal of the season.
Jones (6-5-1) took his fifth loss of the season making 25 saves on 29 shots. Nilsson (3-0-0) earned his first shutout and third victory of the season stopping all 25 shots faced.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Bridgeport went 2-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 0-3-0-0 in their last three games…The Monarchs power play is 0-for-22 in their last five games…Former Monarchs defenseman Jordan Hill tallied two assists…Left wing Marc-Andre Cliche appeared in his 298th AHL game and 299th professional game.
The Monarchs travel to play the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.