LOWELL, MA- Right wing Jon DiSalvatore picked up a hat trick as the Manchester Monarchs fell to the Lowell Devils, 4-1, in front of 2,029 fans at the Tsongas Arena on Sunday evening.
Manchester (16-16-0-5, 37 points) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Lowell (15-15-1-2, 34 points) ranks sixth in the Atlantic Division.
"We kept it close for a while but they were too much for us; we ran out of steam," said Head Coach Mark Morris. "We had very little jump with this being the third game of a3-in-3 for us. We had a couple of early penalties that set us back and we spent a great deal of time in our zone in the first period. This is one we have to put behind us and look ahead to Wednesday."
Center Petr Vrana scored the go-ahead goal at 15:32 of the second period with Lowell's second power play tally of the night. Defenseman Anssi Salmela found Vrana at the top of the right face-off circle for a one-timer that found the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Right wing Vladimir Zharkov earned an assist on the goal that brought the score to 2-1 in Lowell's favor.
DiSalvatore picked up the first goal of the game and the last. His first goal of night came at 5:51 of the opening frame on the power play. With precision passing center Michael Swift sent the puck from the deep right side of the Monarchs zone to Salmela at the center point. Salmela forwarded the pass to DiSalvatore at the top of the left circle. The right wing snapped a wrist shot that beat Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier on his glove side for his 11th goal of the season.
Manchester evened the contest at 1-1 with center Marty Murray's fifth tally of the season at 17:58 of the first period. Murray handed the puck over to left wing Vladimir Dravecky on the right side of the Devils net. Dravecky set up behind the cage and returned the favor by passing the puck to Murray at the bottom of the right circle. The veteran centerman ripped a one-timer past netminder Jeff Frazee. Center David Meckler picked up an assist on the Monarchs lone goal.
DiSalvatore picked up his second goal of the night, 12th of the season at 1:23 of the final stanza. Murray carried the puck out of the Monarchs zone and attempted a cross-ice feed in the neutral zone. DiSalvatore stole the pass and walked into Manchester's territory and sent a slap shot from the right point that beat Bernier on his blocker side for a 3-1 score.
Meckler had the opportunity to bring the Monarchs to within one goal with a penalty shot at 13:20 of the final frame but Frazee poke-checked the puck away before the right wing could get a shot off.
DiSalvatore picked up the empty netter to complete his hat trick at 19:56 of the third period.
Bernier (10-9-3) took his ninth loss of the season with 24 saves on 27 shots. Frazee (10-6-2) earned his 10th victory of the season with 32 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Manchester was 2-for-4 with the man advantage.