Next Stop: the Playoffs
PROVIDENCE, RI - The Manchester Monarchs finished the 2013-14 regular season with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday night.
Manchester (48-19-3-6) leads the Atlantic Division with 105 points. Providence (40-24-2-9) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 91 points.
"This was a good test for us on the road against a desperate team striving to make it into the playoffs, "said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "We had a taste of the urgency teams play with in the postseason. There were plenty of well executed parts to our game in this overtime loss. We held the play throughout the first (period) and Providence made a huge push in the second, outshooting us by a sizable margin. Each team had good chances but a blind clearing attempt early in the third period erased the one goal lead we had, giving our opponent an easy goal. Mistakes get magnified at this point in the season. It's important we learn from this one. The sour taste we leave with from tonight's overtime loss should be a good lesson for us as we head into the playoffs. It has been a great regular season and I'm proud of the contributions our guys made to finish with such a tremendous regular season record. Now we need to turn the page and get prepared for the brand new challenge of playoff hockey."
Left wing Matt Fraser's second goal of the game and 20th tally of the season gave the Bruins the 2-1 victory at 2:57 in overtime. While on the power play, center Ryan Spooner fed the puck from the center point to Fraser in the right face-off circle. Fraser collected the pass and wristed a shot through traffic and into the net for the winning goal. Right wing Seth Griffith also picked up an assist on the overtime tally.
Right wing James Livingston lit the lamp at 16:24 of the opening frame to give the Monarchs a 1-0 advantage. Defenseman Jeff Schultz collected the puck behind the Monarchs net and found Livingston along the right wing wall. Livingston fed a short pass over to center Colin Fraser as the Monarchs broke out of their zone. Fraser returned the pass to Livingston at the red line. Livingston weaved his way through players and wristed a shot from just inside the right face-off circle that beat Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg's glove for his eighth tally of the season.
The Bruins tied the game at 3:12 of the third period with left wing Fraser's 19th goal of the season. Fraser picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and skated into Monarchs territory along the left wing. Fraser attempted to chip the puck toward the net but bounced off his teammate and Monarchs center Jordan Weal attempted to backhand it out. Fraser received the puck back as he skated into the slot and snapped a wrist shot that beat Monarchs netminder J.F. Berube on his glove side to tie the game at 1-1.
Berube (28-17-2) took his 17th loss of the season, stopping 22-of-24 shots. Svedberg (25-15-4) earned his 25th win of the season, making 16 saves on 17 shots he faced in the game.
Manchester was 1-for-2 on the power play. Providence went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
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