PROVIDENCE, RI – Goaltender Hannu Toivonen recorded his first shutout of the season as the Providence Bruins blanked the Manchester Monarchs 5-0 in front of 4,571 fans at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Sunday evening.
Manchester (39-19-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 85 points. Providence (38-26-1-3) is in third place in the Atlantic Division behind the Hartford Wolf Pack (39-25-3-0, 81 points) with 80 points.
Center Nate Thompson started the scoring with the lone first period goal at 11:07. Left wing Dennis Packard gave the puck to Thompson who beat Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera on the stick side for his seventh goal of the season. Center David Krejci earned his first assist of the night on Thompson's eventual game-winning goal.
Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Nathan Dempsey scored a power play goal at 18:30 of the middle frame to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Forward Sean Bentivoglio shot the puck from the bottom of the right face-off circle that LaBarbera saved and redirected to his right side. Dempsey was stationed on the left doorstep to pick up the rebound and rip it into the open net. Right wing Nate DiCasmirro assisted on the second Bruins goal of the night.
Less than a minute later, center Pascal Pelletier scored his 14 goal of the season. On a two-on-one break, Krejci fed a pass through a Monarchs defenseman's legs and onto the stick of Pelletier for the one-timer. Right wing Petr Kalus assisted on the goal to make it 3-0 at 19:22 of the second stanza.
Goal No. 4 came from center Marco Rosa at1:34 of the third period. Left wing T.J. Trevelyan blasted a shot on LaBarbera and Rosa was at the bottom of the right face-off circle to backhand the rebound over the fallen netminder. Defenseman Dwayne Zinger assisted on Rosa's sixth tally of the season.
Krejci finished off his three-point night with his team leading 25th goal of the season at 4:24 of the final period. Kalus sent the puck deep behind the Monarchs net to DiCasmirro who passed it on to Krejci at the edge of the right face circle. Krejci shot a one-timer past LaBarbera to give the Bruins a 5-0 lead.
Monarchs rookie newcomer, forward Kevin Westgarth
, made his presence known in the third period when he took down Zinger in a fisticuffs at 6:44 of the third period.
Goaltender Barry Brust replaced LaBarbera for the final 15:23 of the game and stopped all seven shots he faced. LaBarbera took the loss with 17 saves. Toivonen earned the shutout victory stopping all 25 shots from the Monarchs.
Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Providence was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.