PROVIDENCE, RI – Goaltender Peter Mannino made 39 saves but the shorthanded Manchester Monarchs fell to the Providence Bruins, 2-1, at Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester (17-16-2-2) ranks fourth in the Atlantic Division with 38 points. Providence (19-4-0-2) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 40 points.
“The skeleton roster we fielded this afternoon competed their tails off,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “It seems criminal we lost because of the effort the players put forth. We nearly tied the score at least three times in the dying minutes of the game. Two pucks narrowly missed the net from point blank range in the slot and a great pass by Stefan Legein to Tanner Pearson was foiled by (Niklas) Svedberg that would have sent the game into overtime. We were without 10 players who played for us last weekend so it is hard to be disappointed in the loss.”
Providence took the lead for good at 2-1 when right wing Graham Mink scored on the power play at 3:49 of the third period. Center Carter Camper found left wing Maxime Sauve inside the right wing face-off circle. Sauve fired a slap pass for Mink in front of the net. Mink redirected it into the back of the cage for his first goal of the season.
The Bruins opened the scoring 58 seconds into the game with a goal by left wing Craig Cunningham. The Monarchs attempted a breakout pass from the right wing corner in their defensive zone. Cunningham picked off the pass at the top of the right wing face-off circle and skated between the hash marks before wristing a backhand shot. Cunningham’s shot beat Mannino midway up on the stick side for his seventh goal of the season.
Right wing Brandon Kozun tied the game at 1-1 with a goal at 19:51 of the second period. Kozun played the puck back to the left point for defenseman Bryan Rodney from the left wing half wall. Rodney threw a hard diagonal pass to center Linden Vey inside the right wing face-off circle. Vey skated to the bottom of the circle before passing it to Kozun in the left wing face-off circle. Kozun corralled the pass a wrested a shot high on the stick side of bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg for his 10th goal of the season.
Mannino (9-5-0) took his fifth loss of the season making 39 saves on 41 shots. Svedberg (15-6-1) earned his 15th victory of the season stopping 22-of-23 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Providence went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs dressed only 15 skaters and two goaltenders…The Monarchs are 3-1-0-0 in 2013…Monarchs center Linden Vey extended his point streak to seven games (0-11=11)…Vey also has a goal and 12 assists for 13 points in his last nine games.
The Monarchs return to Manchester to play the Springfield Falcons at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Tuesday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.