Left wing Noah Clarke, right wing Tim Jackman and defenseman Eric Werner tallied goals and goaltender Jason LaBarbera earned his fourth shutout of the season in the Manchester Monarchs 3-0 blanking of the Springfield Falcons in front of 9,561 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday night.
Manchester (19-10-6-1) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 45 points. Springfield (19-15-0-1) is tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with 39 points.
Clarke scored a power play goal at 13:29 of the opening period to put the Monarchs up 1-0. Manchester set up in Springfield's zone and began cycling the puck. Left wing Matt Moulson sent it to center Gabe Gauthier who fired it off the end boards. The puck slipped through a player's legs and to Clarke stationed in the left face-off circle. Clarke's one-timer past Falcons netminder Jonathan Boutin was his team leading 12th tally of the season.
Jackman made it 2-0 in the Monarchs favor with a shorthanded goal at 2:33 of the second period. Right wing John Zeiler sat in the penalty box for holding when defenseman Peter Harrold flipped the puck in the air and cleared it out of the Monarchs zone. Jackman gloved the puck down at the Falcons blueline and he skated in on Boutin all alone. Stick-handling the puck, Jackman put the breaks on at Boutin's feet and pulled the puck around the fallen goaltender and into the net. The goal was the Monarchs second shorthanded tally and Jackman's seventh goal of the season.
Manchester made their New Year's Eve game a 3-0 affair at 5:09 of the middle frame with Werner's third goal of the season and second in as many nights. The Falcons went to grab the loose puck in their zone when Werner swiped at it from the right face-off circle. The puck bounced across the ice and past Boutin for the goal. Left wingers Jeff Giuliano and Petr Kanko earned assists on the fluke goal.
LaBarbera earned his third win in a row, 17th of the season with 26 saves. Boutin took the loss stopping 24 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.