NORFOLK, VA ? Goaltender Jonathan Quick
stopped all 26 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Norfolk Admirals, 4-0, for their fourth consecutive win in front of 4,155 fans at the Norfolk Scope on Friday night.
Manchester (34-29-5-4) remains in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 77 points, three points ahead of the fifth place Springfield Falcons (32-30-5-5, 74 points). Norfolk (25-41-2-5) is in seventh place in the East Division with 57 points.
The Monarchs hopped on the scoreboard with four unanswered goals with the first coming off the stick of center Brian Boyle at 11:58 of the opening frame. On the power play, Manchester set up in the Admirals zone and went to work. Defenseman Jeff Likens found right wing Teddy Purcell along the left wing boards. Weighing his options, Purcell found Boyle in the right face-off circle. The rookie center dragged the pass and snapped a wrist shot into the top right portion of the net for his 27th goal of the season.
Left wing Matt Moulson doubled the Monarchs lead with his 27th tally of the season at 19:14 of the first period. Center Matt Ryan collected the puck in the right corner of Admirals territory and set up Moulson who was standing at the top of the crease. Moulson one-timed the feed past Norfolk goaltender Jonathan Boutin for the 2-0 lead. Defenseman Josh Kidd was credited with an assist on the goal.
Center Marc-Andre Cliche advanced Manchester's dominance with his eighth goal of the season early in the second stanza. Charging the net, center Scott Parse tried to stuff in a shot from defenseman Drew Bagnall but was denied by Boutin. The puck popped free and Cliche picked it up at the bottom inside corner of the right face-off circle. After he collected the puck, Cliche pivoted and flipped it top shelf as he fell to the ice at 3:14 of the middle frame.
Center Brady Murray put the icing on the cake by netting his eighth of the season at 12:53 of the final frame. Purcell carried the puck into the Admirals zone and blasted a shot from the center point. Boutin made the initial save but the rebound bounced free near his left knee. Murray was on the doorstep to pick up the loose puck and flipped a forehand shot into the top of the net for a 4-0 lead.
Quick (7-7-0) earned his second shutout of the season stopping all 26 shots from Norfolk. Boutin (12-17-3) took the loss with 32 saves on 36 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Norfolk was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.