MANCHESTER, NH – Rookie right wing Scott Sabourin picked up two tallies as the Manchester Monarchs won their fifth consecutive game against the Providence Bruins at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (13-3-1-2) leads the Atlantic Division with 29 points. Providence (8-6-1-2) is tied with the St. John’s IceCaps (8-8-1-2) for second place in the Atlantic Division with 19 points.
“They’re a good team; like, a really good team,” said Head Coach Mark Morris. “You look at the skill on their team; they’re going to make plays. It’s hard to keep that intensity up for 60 minutes. We’re getting better at it but we also have guys playing way more minutes than they’re accustomed to right now, so tomorrow’s going to be another test. Today was a big test for us, and we found a way to dig a little deeper there in third. We got that big goal from (Scott) Sabourin; real good forecheck. When we’re fresh, we’re real solid. When we lose our edge, and our focus, we can be just another hockey team.”
The Monarchs answered with the game-winning goal at 12:04 of the third period. Right wing Sean Backman was in good position to break up a pass from defenseman Tommy Cross. Backman knocked the saucer pass down with his stick and sent the puck to the front of the net where Sabourin was waiting and in position to put it home for the winner. Sabourin beat netminder Malcolm Subban high on the stick side for his second goal of the game and fifth tally of the season.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 10:39 of the first period. Defensemen Andrew Bodnarchuk was able to get his stick in position and shuffled a pass over to center Jordan Weal along the right wing boards. Weal found right wing Brandon Kozun who broke free of the defense and skated one-on-one with Subban. Kozun beat the goaltender five-hole for his sixth goal of the season.
The Monarchs would increase their lead to two goals at 17:28 of the first period. Left wing Andy Andreoff won an offensive zone face-off back to Backman. The forward was able to free the puck from the Bruins defense and send a pass to Sabourin in the high slot for a one-timer that beat Subban high on the stick side.
The Bruins were able to cut into the Monarchs two-goal lead at 16:07 of the second period. Cross sent a blueline-to-blueline pass up the center of the neutral zone to right wing Nick Johnson. Splitting between Monarchs defensemen Andrew Campbell and Chris Huxley, Johnson beat netminder J.F. Berube high on the stick side. The goal was Johnson’s ninth tally of the season.
The Bruins evened the score at the 2:52 mark of the third period. Defenseman Mike Moore maintained possession for the Bruins before sending a backhand pass to left wing Jared Knight who was parked behind the net. Knight was then able to find right wing Seth Griffith on the right goal post who scored to tie the game.
Berube (4-2-0) earned his fourth win of the season stopping 24-of-26 shots. Subban (2-5-0) took his fifth loss of the season making 33 saves on 36 shots.
Manchester was 0-for-2 on the power play. Providence also went 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is currently on a six-game winning streak on home ice…The Monarchs have won all five of the contests with the Providence Bruins thus far this season…Right wing Brandon Kozun scored his team leading ninth point (3-6=9) against Providence this season…Right wing Scott Sabourin has scored three goals in his last two games.