Bernier Picks Up His Seventh in Win
|Bernier picked up his seventh shutout of the season on Saturday.
Manchester (31-17-2-5) regains first place in the Atlantic Division with 69 points. Syracuse (22-25-3-3) is in sixth place in the East Division with 50 points.
“Winning is fun,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I thought we got a complete effort from everyone. (Jonathan) Bernier was stellar. We didn’t give up too many chances. It was one of the quicker teams we’ve faced and we were able to control their speed. I thought Elkins' goal was huge. Credit their team; they gave us all we could handle and our goalie made some great saves.”
The scoreless drought ended late in the third period when Elkins tallied his team-leading 17th goal of the season at the 10:46 mark. Right wing Geoff Walker dug the puck out from behind the Crunch net and sent it out into the slot where Elkins was standing. The sniper controlled the biscuit and fired a blistering wrist shot that beat Syracuse netminder Kevin Lalande on his glove side putting the Monarchs on top 1-0. Defenseman Andrew Campbell also gained an assist on the goal.
The home team would add a late empty net goal off the stick of left wing Dwight King. Left wing Bud Holloway gathered a loose puck that was fired up the right side boards and sent a shot along the ice at the open net. King kept his stick along the ice in front of the crease and got a piece of the puck, tipping it into the back of the net. Defenseman Alec Martinez collected an assist on King’s fifth goal of the season at the 19:54 mark.
Bernier (23-13-5) earned his 23rd win of the season saving all 34 shots he faced for his seventh shutout of the season. Lalande (16-13-2) took his 13th loss of the season with 22 saves on 23 shots.
Manchester was 0-for-2 on the power play. Syracuse was also 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: Left wing Bud Holloway recorded an assist which extends his point streak to three games (1-6=7)…Center Justin Azevedo had his point streak (3-3=6) of two games snapped as he was held off the scoreboard…Center Corey Elkins moved into second place in the AHL with six first goals of a game…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier recorded his league-leading seventh shutout of the season saving all 34 shots.