Game report provided by the Monarchs, LA Kings’ AHL affiliate…
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs improved their shootout record to 3-2 on the season as they edged the Providence Bruins, 5-4 in the shootout, in their Home Opener at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (4-0-0-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 10 points. Providence (2-2-0-2) ranks second in the division with six points.
“We finally gained some momentum, once again, we got a lead and had a hard time hanging on to it,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Our systems are in place, and if we execute them, they work. We did some good things but thought our start was very sluggish and disordered.”
Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones shutout the Bruins in the shootout as he halted shots from right wing Nick Johnson, center Ryan Spooner, right wing Seth Griffith and left wing Matt Fraser. Right wing Tyler Toffoli and left wing Andy Andreoff beat Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg in the shootout.
The Monarchs were to light the lamp at 5:09 of the opening period when left wing Tanner Pearson tallied his third goal of the season. Center Jordan Weal stole the puck and maintained possession as he skated down the left wing of the Bruins zone. With a defenseman crashing in on Weal as he approached the goal line, the center passed the puck over to a rushing Pearson who buried a one-timer into the open net.
Providence struck back at 7:40 of the opening frame with defenseman Kevan Miller’s first goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Monarchs defenseman Nick Deslauriers blocked the initial shot but Miller picked up the rebound and ripped it past Jones to even the game. Defenseman Joe Morrow and forward Jared Knight picked up assists on the goal.
The Monarchs scored at 6:14 of the second period to regain the 2-1 lead with a goal from defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. Cycling the puck in the Bruins zone, center Linden Vey sent the puck to Bodnarchuk at the center point. Deslauriers assisted on Bodnarchuk’s second goal of the season.
Right wing Brian O’Neill added an insurance goal by deflecting home a slap shot at 15:18 of the second period to give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde received a pass from Bodnarchuk at the right point. LoVerde fired the puck through traffic and O’Neill tipped it past Svedberg for his first goal of the season.
Bruins left wing Justin Florek scored on a shorthanded breakaway to bring Providence within one at 8:16 of the third period. The Monarchs turned over the puck in the neutral zone and right wing Alexander Fallstrom broke out on a breakaway. Fallstrom passed the puck to Florek who skated to his right and slipped the puck between Jones and the post.
Right wing Seth Griffith collected the equalizer at 13:33 of the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Defenseman David Warsofsky fired a slap shot from the left point that was stopped by Jones. The rebound was quickly snatched up by Griffith who put it into the empty net for his second goal of the season.
Center Robbie Czarnik put the Monarchs ahead, 4-3, at 16:36 of the final period. Defenseman Colin Miller dumped the puck behind the net where O’Neill picked it up and fed Czarnik for a one-timer that beat Svedberg high on the glove side for the go-ahead goal.
With the goaltender pulled, Fraser beat Jones on the blocker side to tie the game 4-4 at 19:35 of the third stanza. Camper won the face-off back to Griffith and fed it on to Fraser for the one-timer. The goal came on a 6-on-5 with the Svedberg pulled for the extra attacker.
Jones (4-0-2) earned his third shootout victory, stopping 34-of-38 shots and all four shootout snipers. Svedberg (2-0-2) took the shootout loss with 32 saves on 36 shots and stopped two of the four shooters in the shootout.
Manchester was 0-for-1 on the power play. Providence went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
Notables: Five of the Monarchs first six games this season have gone to a shootout…Manchester has a 3-2 record in shootouts this season…The team remains undefeated in regulation through six games.
The Monarchs host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20.
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