Zatkoff Buzzed By Baby B’s
PROVIDENCE, RI – Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff stopped a season-high 45 shots for the Manchester Monarchs as they fell to the Providence Bruins, 2-1, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday evening.
Manchester (16-9-1-1) took their ninth loss of the season and is in first Atlantic Division with 34 points. Providence (10-10-2-1) earned their 10th win of the season and sit in seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 23 points.
“We battled hard throughout the entire game,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the loss. “It was a solid effort. A sharp angle shot late in the second put us down by one. They also scored on a 5-on-3 in which we were none too happy about. (Michael) Hutchinson made several key stops when we pushed hard to tie things up. Things didn’t go our way, but we worked hard and competed extremely well. Goals weren’t easy to come by this afternoon. Most games we’ll win when we play with that much energy and determination.”
With left wing Ray Kaunisto in the penalty box for slashing and center Andrei Loktionov off for tripping, the Bruins capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play as center Joe Colborne scored his seventh goal of the season at 5:02 of the final frame. Defenseman Steven Kampfer picked up the rebound from a shot and backhanded it over to center Wyatt Smith near the end red line in the right corner of the Monarchs zone. Smith flipped a shot on net that Zatkoff made the pad save on. The puck bounced free to Colborne in the slot for the one-timer into the open net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
The scoreless tie was broken at 17:42 of the second period when center Jamie Arniel netted his 10th tally of the season. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski sprung Arniel down the left wing of the Monarchs zone. Cutting in toward the net from the bottom of the face-off circle, Arniel wristed a shot past Zatkoff on his glove side. Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk also assisted on the first goal of the game.
The Monarchs cut the Bruins lead in half with center Justin Azevedo’s eighth goal of the season at 7:22 of the third period. Defenseman David Kolomatis sent the puck to left wing Bud Holloway along the right wing half wall in the Bruins zone. Holloway stepped in toward the net and ripped a shot on goal that netminder Michael Hutchinson stopped. The rebound flew in the air, waist high, into the slot for Azevedo to bat into the back of the net.
Zatkoff (9-8-1) took his eighth loss of the season with 45 saves on 47 shots. Hutchinson (7-4-0) earned his seventh win of the season stopping 34-of-35 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Providence was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs gave up a season-high 47 shots to their opponent; the franchise record for shots against in one game is 61 and came in Hartford on January 5, 2007…Center Oscar Moller was held off the scoreboard, ending his 10-game scoring streak with 13 points (6-7=13) from November 14 to December 4…Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff made a season-high 45 saves.
The Monarchs return to action on Friday, December 10 when they host the Worcester Sharks at the Verizon Wireless Arena in a 7:00 p.m. contest. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGAM 900/1250 AM and at www.manchestermonarchs.com.