Monarchs grab 2-1 win on New Year’s Eve
Going into the game Manchester (21-12-0-2) is in first place the Atlantic Division with 44 points. Providence is fifth in the division (14-18-1-2) with 31 points.
“Tonight was a solid team effort,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “The early goals paved the way for our team to build on the success we’ve enjoyed for the past few weeks. Steady, reliable play from Jeff Zatkoff and an excellent penalty killing job helped us a great deal against Providence. Justin Johnson and Chris Cloud also made contributions standing up for their teammates. This stretch has helped our youngsters to gain valuable experience with additional ice time due to the rash of injuries we’ve encountered. We’ve seen growth and improvement. It’s nice to ring in 2012 with a solid win. Happy New Year!”
The Monarchs took the lead for good when left wing Dwight King put in a backhander at 18:04 of the first period. Defenseman Thomas Hickey passed the puck down to defenseman Patrick Mullen at the bottom of the left wing circle. Mullen wristed a shot on goal that ricocheted off of center Marc-Andre Cliche and trickled to King in front of the net. With Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin down on the ice, King quickly threw a backhand shot that found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Monarchs struck first with a goal by Cliche at 11:23 of the opening period. Mullen passed the puck from the right point to the left point where Hickey fired a shot that was blocked by the Bruins defense. Cliche corralled the loose puck in between the face-off circles and took a quick wrist shot through traffic for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Providence scored their lone goal of the game at 8:24 of the third period. With right wing Justin Johnson in the penalty box for goaltender interference, defenseman Colby Cohen lit the lamp with his first goal of the season. Center Josh Hennessey sent a pass from behind the net to defenseman Matt Bartkowski at the left point. Bartkowski crossed defensive positions with Cohen and passed the puck to him at the left point. Cohen launched a slap shot that fought through traffic and found the back of the net.
Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff (10-4-1) earned his 10th victory of the season stopping 25-of-26 shots. Khudobin (11-13-2) took his 13th loss of the season making 27 saves on 29 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Providence was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is 12-5-0-1 record at the Verizon Wireless Arena this season…The Monarchs are 15-7-0-2 against Atlantic Division teams this season…With two assists tonight, defenseman Patrick Mullen recorded his fourth multi-point game of the season and second in two games...Center Marc-Andre Cliche tallied his team-leading 11th goal of the season.