PROVIDENCE, RI – Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
stopped 31-of-32 shots as the Manchester Monarchs edged the Providence Bruins, 2-1, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night.
Manchester (34-23-2-5) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 75 points. Providence (31-29-3-0) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 65 points.
“The game was hard fought,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Both teams competed exceptionally well. Dwight King
and David Meckler
’s goals were beauties. Jonathan Bernier
was on his game. All four lines played hard and executed our game plan. It was a solid win and the energy was high throughout the game.
Left wing David Meckler
responded with his 11th goal of the season only 34 seconds after Bruins right wing Jordan Knackstedt’s goal to give the Monarchs their one goal lead back. Center Corey Elkins
carried the puck into the Bruins zone along the right wing boards and took his position along the end redline to survey his options. Elkins fed the puck into the right face-off circle for Meckler to blast a one-timer that beat goaltender Kevin Regan five-hole at 1:44 of the final stanza.
Manchester rookie left wing Dwight King
began the scoring with his seventh goal of the season at 6:21 of the opening period. Right wing Kevin Westgarth
picked up the puck just inside the Bruins blueline at the right point and sent a short pass to King as he skated into the zone. King carried the puck into the right face-off circle, put on the brakes, did a 360 degree clockwise turn and snapped a shot into the top right corner of the net beating Regan.
The Monarchs shutout streak of the Bruins ended after 281 minutes and 58 seconds when Knackstedt tallied his 10th goal of the season at 1:10 of the third period. With several bodies falling in the crease and Bernier trying to get back into the net after stopping several shots, Knackstedt flipped the puck into the open net to tie the game at 1-1. Center Zach Hamill and left wing John Lammers assisted on Knackstedt’s tying goal.
Bernier (26-16-5) earned his 26th win of the season with 31 saves on 32 shots. Regan (8-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season with 29 saves on 31 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester shutout Providence in their previous four meetings; their shutout streak against the Bruins ended at 281 minutes and 58 seconds…Left wing Dwight King
is on a four game point streak with a goal and three assists…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier
has five wins over the Bruins in six contests this season with a 1.17 goals-against-average and a .967 save percentage when facing Providence.