Lawson stops 38-of-42 shots on goal; Haskins scores 10th tally
MANCHESTER, NH - Center Tyler Haskins tallied the lone goal as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Manchester Monarchs 4-1 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
The Sound Tigers (35-28-4-6) remains in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 80 points. Manchester (37-26-3-6) is in third place in the Atlantic with 83 points.
"We weren't ready at the start of the game; we just didn't show up on time today," explained Sound Tigers Head Coach Jack Capuano following Friday's loss. "The game was 60 minutes and we only played about 45 minutes today. Give (Manchester) credit - they did what they had to do."
The Monarchs jumped out to the early 1-0 advantage at 3:15 of the first period when center Justin Azevedo ripped a slap-shot past Lawson. Martinez fired a shot from the point that went wide of the net for left wing Bud Holloway to corral. Set up near the inside of the right face-off dot, Holloway dished the puck to his right where Azevedo fired the puck past Lawson whose vision was shielded by heavy traffic in front. The goal was Azevedo's 12th of the season and was the first of three tallies for the Monarchs in the opening frame.
Skating on the power play, defenseman David Kolomatis scored his seventh goal of the season at 9:32 of the first period to double the Monarchs lead to 2-0. After center Marc-Andre Cliche won the face-off in the neutral zone, Martinez collected the puck and fed it over to Kolomatis on the opposite side. Kolomatis took two strides up the right wing before he tossed the puck on goal. The quick wrister caught goaltender Nathan Lawson by surprise and trickled past him and into the net for the eventual game-winner.
Manchester would take a three-goal lead when right wing Trevor Lewis scored his second goal of the season at 16:24 of the opening period. Martinez collected the puck at the left point from Kolomatis. A powerful slap shot by Martinez was knocked down in the slot by a cluster of players. Center Gabe Gauthier quickly won the ensuing puck battle and sent a pass to the right wing boards where Lewis collected it. Lawson, down on the ice after attempting to stop Martinez's shot, made a last minute lunge to his left but could not stop Lewis from connecting with the wide open net.
Skating in his first game since returning from an upper body injury he suffered during his NHL debut in Los Angeles on November 25, Monarchs' center Andrei Loktionov tallied his seventh goal of the season 4:34 into the third period. Center Oscar Moller skated into the offensive zone with the puck along the left wing. At the top of the left face-off dot, Moller dropped a pass back to a sprinting Loktionov. A simple wrist shot from the top of the slot beat Lawson over the shoulder to extend the Monarchs' lead to 4-0.
Haskins scored his 10th goal of the season at 13:13 of the third period to put Bridgeport on the board late in the game and spoiled Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier's shutout bid. Defenseman Mark Wotton sent a pass behind the net to center Micheal Haley. Entrenched behind the Monarchs' cage, Haskins skated in from the right point and received a pass from Haley that was fired on net, beating Bernier blocker side for the Sound Tigers' lone goal of the game.
Lawson (14-14-3) dropped his 14th loss of the season, stopping 38-of-42 shots. Bernier (28-20-6) recorded his 28th victory of the season, halting 28-of-29 shots.
The Sound Tigers went 0-for-2 on the power play while Manchester was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Sound Tigers return to action on Saturday, March 27 at the XL Center as the Sound Tigers will take on the Hartford Wolf Pack in a 7:00 p.m. contest. For group discounted tickets or information on any Sound Tiger upcoming home game, contact the team's front office
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