MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs came away with one point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Norfolk Admirals at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.
Manchester (11-4-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 25 points. Norfolk (10-8-1-0) is in second place in the East Division with 21 points.
"We have to generate more offense," explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. "We have to credit (Norfolk). They came at us. They’re a big, strong team who we, for the most part, shut down. Our guys played hard but we have to find a way to bury the puck."
The Monarchs could not muster a goal in the shootout as netminder Riku Helenius denied center Oscar Moller, center Andrei Loktionov, right wing Brandon Segal and left wing Bud Holloway. Manchester’s goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 2-of-4 shooters as left wing Juraj Simek and center Blair Jones found the back of the net in the shootout.
At 11:45 of the second period, Admirals left wing Justin Keller scored his fourth goal of the season on a wrap-around goal to put Norfolk up 1-0. Defenseman Scott Jackson started the play from the left face-off circle to Keller behind the net. As Monarchs defenseman Joe Piskula fell to the ice with teammate and right wing John Zeiler, Keller dropped to his knees and shoved the puck toward the right post. Jones was on the doorstep with Keller but it was the winger who was able to jam the puck between Bernier’s legs for the goal.
Segal, skating in his first game at the Verizon Wireless Arena against his former team, the Admirals, tied the game at 1-1 with his fifth goal of the season. As the seconds wound down on a Monarchs power play, Manchester crashed the Admirals zone and Helenius’ net. With several bodies in the crease swiping at the puck, the rebound popped free to Segal on the left doorstep for a quick wrist shot into the net. Center Corey Elkins and Holloway assisted on the tying tally.
Bernier (7-4-2) took his second shootout loss of the season with 34 saves on 35 shots and two saves in the shootout. Helenius (4-2-0) earned his fourth win on the season with 21 saves and stopped all four shots in the shootout.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Norfolk went 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs took their first shootout loss on home ice...Defenseman Drew Bagnall skated for the first time at the Verizon Wireless Arena with the “C” for Captain on his jersey.…The Monarchs are 5-0-1-2 in games this season when there is only one goal separating them and their opponent…Manchester has been outshot by their opponent in 15-of-18 games this season…Right wing Brandon Segal’s goal was his first one against his former team…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier continued his stand up play in net with an overall goals-against-average of 1.59 and a .953 save percentage in 13 games this season.