Manchester (41-22-2-6, 90 points) remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 90 points. Connecticut (34-26-2-6, 76 points) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 76 points.
“I think it was a hard fought game and they were well prepared,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris when discussing this evening’s opponent. “I thought their defensive game was stellar - they were in shot lanes and their goalie was real solid.”
“Our goaltending was excellent too and we had a real strong penalty kill. The issue with the penalties is that it taxes a lot of our guys we rely on to score goals. When you spend that much time in the box, your guys are losing energy to produce. It was real hard for our team to get the puck to the net,” said Morris.
“Coming down the stretch when you play against hungry teams, you better be alert and you better be coming back hard and that was the difference in the game. They get a rebound and they chipped it in. Zatkoff gave us every opportunity to win but it’s hard to win games when you can’t get on the scoresheet,” concluded Morris.
Newbury scored the lone goal of the game for the Whale at 2:47 of the third period. The play began when right wing Dale Weise connected with a pass to left wing Brodie Dupont. Skating the puck into the Manchester zone down the left wing, Dupont found Newbury streaking to his right. Crashing the net, Newbury chipped the puck over Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
, who had gone down into the butterfly stance expecting a Dupont shot from the right face-off circle. Zatkoff, unable to get a glove on the puck, allowed Newbury’s 15th tally of the season.
Zatkoff (18-13-5) took his 13th loss of the season, stopping 32-of-33 shots on goal. Whale’s netminder Dov Grumet-Morris (8-3-1) earned his eighth win and first shutout of the season with 25 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Connecticut was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.Notables:
Manchester was shutout at the Verizon Wireless Arena for the first time since December 2, 2009 in a 2-0 loss to the Portland Pirates and goaltender Jhonas Enroth…Tonight also marked Manchester’s first home defeat at the hands of the Connecticut Whale, as the home team’s record now falls to 3-1-0-0 against their division rivals…Right wing Oscar Moller’s four-game goal streak at home came to an end this evening…The last Monarchs 1-0 loss came on April 15, 2007 against Providence in overtime at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center…The last 1-0 loss on home ice was November 14, 2006 against Providence…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
draws his first regulation loss dating back to February 20 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.