MANCHESTER, NH –
Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
recorded his first shutout of the season as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Springfield Falcons, 3-0, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (30-28-0-3) is tied with the Worcester Sharks (26-21-4-7) for second place in the Atlantic Division with 63 points each. Springfield (27-28-3-2) is tied with the Adirondack Phantoms (28-28-2-1) for fourth place in the Northeast Division with 59 points each.
“The first and third were pretty solid periods for us,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “You have to give them a lot of credit for their energy that they gave in the second period to push back but we had some pretty good efforts in there. It is great to see our guys bounce back from our last outing. We played a solid third (period) to really seal the deal.”
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 11:16 of the first period as right wing Brandon Kozun
beat Falcons goaltender Paul Dainton. Center Robbie Czarnik fired a slap shot from left wing face-off circle that was kicked aside by Dainton. Kozun dove to swipe at the rebound in front of the net and knocked it past Dainton for the eventual game-winning goal and his 17th tally of the season.
The Monarchs extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal by defenseman Patrick Mullen
at 15:43 of the first period. Center Andrei Loktionov
attempted to dump the puck from the neutral zone and it was batted back by a Falcons player. Defenseman Jake Muzzin
picked up the loose puck and played it backed to Mullen in the Monarchs zone. Mullen carried the puck up the ice and gained the redline where he fired a slap shot on net that deflected high off Dainton’s stick before finding the top corner on the stick side. The goal was Mullen’s eighth tally of the season.
Right wing Stefan Legein extended the Monarchs lead to 3-0 at 2:03 of the third period with his third shorthanded goal of the season. Defenseman Andrew Campbell
swiped to clear a loose puck out of his zone but the puck was batted back by a Falcons player. Legein regained control of the puck and skated down the right wing boards on the attack creating a two-on-one breakaway with center Marc-Andre Cliche
. Legein faked to Cliche before he wristed a shot high on the stick side of Dainton for his 10th tally of the season.
Zatkoff (17-13-1) earned his 17th win and his first shutout of the season stopping all 28 shots faced. Dainton (9-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season stopping 23 saves on 26 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-6 with the man advantage. Notables:
The Monarchs recorded their first shutout since March 25, 2011…Center Robbie Czarnik has five points (1-4=5) in his last five games...Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff
recorded his seventh career shutout and first of the season...Defenseman Jake Muzzin
is currently on a three-game point streak (1-3=4).