Bernier Picks up His Eighth Shutout
|Jonthan Bernier stopped all 40 shots in the Monarchs shutout win.
Manchester (32-19-2-5) remains tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Portland Pirates (32-16-5-2) as each team has 71 points. Providence (28-26-3-0) is tied for sixth in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.
“What a difference a day makes,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We bought into a game plan and we played with a lot of heart and determination. We’ve come to appreciate the importance of stellar goaltending. Bernier was strong again and we had a lot of contribution from every line. Our defense was solid. It’s great to see us play with a take charge attitude. Let’s hope it continues.”
The Monarchs got on the board first as center Marc-Andre Cliche netted his team leading third shorthanded goal of the season at the 6:14 mark of the first period. Defenseman Drew Bagnall took a wrist shot that fluttered out of the zone onto the opposing teams’ blueline. Out skating the Providence defenders, Cliche made his way into the Bruins zone on goaltender Kevin Regan. The speedy center held off two defenders and let off a backhander just outside the crease that found its way blocker side on Regan and into the back of the net. The goal was Cliche’s 11th goal of the season.
Right wing Kevin Westgarth netted his 10th goal of the season at the 14:48 mark of the second period to extend the home team’s lead to 2-0. Left wing Richard Clune collected the puck behind the Providence net, looking for someone in front. The winger sent a pass out front that deflected near post which was stopped by Regan. Westgarth, who came across the crease, jammed the puck into the back of the net. Right wing John Zeiler also recorded an assist on the goal.
At the 18:06 mark of the second period, Clune recorded his fourth goal of the season extending the Monarchs lead to 3-0. Bagnall took a slapshot from the left point that deflected off a defenders’ skate right to Clune standing at the right post. Clune handled the loose puck and slid it into the open net. Center Justin Azevedo also gained an assist on the goal.
Left wing Dwight King recorded his sixth goal of the season at the 17:38 mark of the final frame on the power play to make the score 4-0. Left wing Bud Holloway gathered the puck at the top of the left face-off circle and fired a shot that ricocheted off the mask of Regan and into mid air. Standing in front of the net was King who batted the puck into the back of the net. Defenseman David Kolomatis also gathered an assist on the play.
Bernier (24-15-5) earned his 24th win of the season, stopping all 40 shots he faced from the Bruins for his eighth shutout of the season. Regan (6-7-0) took his seventh loss of the season, stopping 31-of-35 shots.
Manchester was 1-for-2 on the power play. Providence went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs have shutout the Bruins in five of seven games this season…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier recorded his league-leading eighth shutout of the season saving all 40 shots…Center Marc-Andre Cliche recorded his third shorthanded goal of the season which ended up also being the game-winning goal…Monarchs attendance was the highest of the year with 9,007 fans.