MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs fell to the Providence Bruins, 3-2, despite outshooting them, 33-21, on Saturday night.
Manchester (30-14-2-5) leads the Atlantic Division with 67 points. Providence (25-18-1-6) sits in third place in the Atlantic Division with 57 points.
“It’s hard to come out on the short end when you feel you battled hard enough to come out with a win”, said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “I just think the way things unfolded, and some of the things that sent us to the box, it’s very irritating. Am I happy about it, no, but I thought our guys played hard enough and well enough to win that game. We didn’t catch a break all game long. We really didn’t, and our guys competed (their) tails off.”
The Bruins doubled their lead early in the final frame thanks to defenseman Mike Moore’s second goal of the season. After collecting a rebound in the slot, he moved from right-to-left, faking a shot to draw goaltender Martin Jones out of the net. After succeeding, Moore continued to move left and sent the puck high behind the goaltender at 4:21.
Providence opened up the scoring late in the first period, capitalizing on a Monarchs penalty. Left wing Matt Fraser received the puck from center Ryan Spooner in the slot. A quick move to the backhand allowed Fraser to put a shot past Jones glove at 15:55 of the first period. The goal was Fraser’s 17th tally of the season.
Left wing Nick Deslauriers notched his 15th goal of the season at 7:45 of the middle frame with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle. Deslauriers picked up the free puck which was bouncing at the blueline. He carried it for a few strides before sending it at the net. Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg managed to make the initial stop but the puck trickled behind him and over the line to even the score at one.
A scrum in the corner to Jones left led to Bruins center Rob Flick carrying the puck out in front of the net. Jones stopped Flick’s initial shot, but the rebound was sent up and over Jones blocker shoulder by forward Andrew Cherniwchan at 14:25 of the second.
Right wing Tyler Toffoli came away from a tussle in the right corner of the Bruins end of the ice. He had a clear pass to Deslauriers at the point who then sent the puck across the slot to center Linden Vey waiting in the left face-off circle. A quick wrist shot from Vey to the short side of Svedberg cut the Bruins lead back to one. The goal marked his 10th tally of the season at 6:27 of the third.
Jones (11-3-2) took his third loss of the season, stopping 18-of-21 shots. Svedberg (17-11-3) earned his 17th win of the season, making 31 saves on 33 shots.
Manchester was 1-for-4 on the power play. Providence also went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is 0-3-0-1 on pink ice during Pink In The Rink games…Left wing Nick Deslauriers (1-6=7) is on a season-high six game point and assist streaks…Center Linden Vey has collected four goals and two assists for six points in his last six games…The Monarchs have lost their last two games at Verizon Wireless Arena, tying a season-high for consecutive home losses…Manchester has lost three straight games against Providence after winning their first six match-ups of the season