PROVIDENCE, RI – Two power play goals and a strong defensive effort lifted the Manchester Monarchs past the Providence Bruins, 3-1, in front of 3,957 fans at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Sunday evening. Manchester edged the Bruins, 5-4, in a shootout at the Verizon Wireless Arena in game one of their home-and-home series on Saturday night.
Manchester (12-10-0-4, 28 points) is tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Providence (16-10-1-1, 34 points) is in first place in the Atlantic Division.
"The guys played their tales off," said Head Coach Mark Morris. "For the most part, we were pretty disciplined and the compete-level was high."
Right wing Trevor Lewis doubled the Monarchs lead to 2-0 at 6:09 of the final frame with his team leading eighth tally of the season. On the power play, center Brian Boyle won the face-off in the right circle in the Bruins zone. Boyle drew the puck back to Lewis who gave it over to defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov at the point. Voynov cycled the puck to center Marty Murray along the right wing boards. Returning the puck to the point, Voynov blasted a one-timer through traffic that Lewis was able to redirect past goaltender Tuukka Rask for the second goal of the game.
A bad bounce off the end boards put the Monarchs on the scoreboard at 11:38 of the opening frame. Center David Meckler collected the puck from defenseman Eric Werner in the neutral zone and fired in deep into the Bruins' zone. Rask stopped the puck behind the net and one of his defensemen intended to send the puck up and around the left wing boards but the puck hit off a rough patch in the boards and bounced toward the crease. As Rask tried to get back into the net, left wing Scott Parse and Meckler took swipes at the puck. Meckler connected and chipped the rubber biscuit into the open basket for his seventh goal of the season. Lewis also assisted on the first goal of the game.
Left wing Jeremy Reich cut the Monarchs lead in half at 13:03 of the third period. Right wing Byron Bitz collected the puck on the right side of Manchester's cage and sent a quick pass into the slot for Reich. With three Monarchs players back to defend the net, Reich was alone in the slot for the pass and chipped the puck past Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Quick for a 2-1 game.
Parse picked up the empty net tally for an insurance goal at 19:36 of the final stanza. Left wing Vladimir Dravecky registered the lone assist on the empty net goal as he fed the puck to Parse as he skated alone into the Bruins zone for the tally.
"The guys withstood some penalties that were precarious at times," said Morris. "To beat a team like Providence two games in a row is good for our guys."
Quick (6-5-2) earned his sixth win of the season stopping 32-of-33 shots. Rask (11-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season with 17 saves.
Manchester went 2-for-6 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.