MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs held their opponent off the scoreboard for the third time in four games as they skated past the Providence Bruins 3-0 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
picked up his first shutout stopping 31 shots.
Manchester (7-2-0-0) remains in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with 14 points. Providence (4-3-1-0) is tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with nine points.
Center Marc-Andre Cliche brought life to the Verizon Wireless Arena at 19:13 of the second period by scoring an unassisted shorthanded goal to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. The puck popped free in the neutral zone and Cliche took off streaking toward goaltender Dany Sabourin. With a Bruins defenseman skating on his heels, Cliche began to cut from left to right at the top of the crease. At the last minute, the center stopped cutting to the right and deked back to his left, flipping the puck over Sabourin’s right pad for his first goal of the season.
Left wing Bud Holloway doubled the Monarchs lead to 2-0 at 6:06 of the final stanza. Center Oscar Moller carried the puck over the blueline and passed it over to his left to center Andrei Loktionov. The rookie side-stepped a Providence player at the top of the left face-off circle and sent the puck toward the top right corner of the crease for Holloway to tip past Sabourin for his fourth goal of the season.
Center Corey Elkins finished off the Bruins with an empty net goal at 19:51 of the third period. Right wing Brandon Segal assisted on the final goal of the game.
Zatkoff (2-1-0) earned his first shutout in the AHL and in a Monarchs uniform stopping 31 shots. Sabourin (4-2-0) took his second loss of the season with 25 saves on 27 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Providence was also 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs have shutout their opponent three of their last four games…Manchester is undefeated on home ice this season with a record of 4-0...The Monarchs have only given up one goal to their opponent at the Verizon Wireless Arena…Center Marc-Andre Cliche scored the first shorthanded of the season for the Monarchs…It was also Cliche’s first goal of the season…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff picked up his first AHL shutout and second win of the season.
Following the game, the Monarchs released goaltender Rick Laurendeau from his professional tryout agreement.
Laurendeau, a native of Manchester, New Hampshire, served as the Monarchs back-up goaltender tonight when the squad topped the Providence Bruins 3-0. Laurendeau is 5-foot-9, 175-pounds and played college hockey at Plymouth State College.