BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Goaltender Martin Jones stopped 38 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Manchester Monarchs blanked the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 3-0, in a penalty-filled contest at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (3-0-0-1) leads the Atlantic Division with seven points. Bridgeport (1-2-0-0) is tied for fourth place in the Northeast Division with the Albany Devils (1-1-0-0) with two points each.
“This one wasn’t much fun to play in or watch because there was zero flow to it,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris.
Defenseman Jeff Schultz ended the scoreless tie with his first tally of the season at 10:45 of the third period. While skating on a delayed penalty call, right wing Brandon Kozun circled around the Sound Tigers’ zone. As he skated into the top of the right face-off circle, Kozun passed the puck down to center Linden Vey in the right corner. Vey carried the puck up the right wing wall and spotted Schultz skating to the hash marks. The defenseman received a tape-to-tape pass and snapped a wrist shot past goaltender Nilsson.
Left wing Tanner Pearson doubled the Monarchs lead with his first goal of the season at 12:52 of the final frame. Vey, Pearson and defenseman Andrew Campbell skated in on Nilsson on an odd-man rush. Vey carried the puck down the right wing boards and passed it over to Pearson, who was skating down the center of the Sound Tigers’ zone. At the hash marks, Pearson wristed a shot on net that Nilsson stopped with his right pad. The puck fell to the netminder’s feet and Pearson jammed in his own rebound to give the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage.
Right wing Tyler Toffoli finished off the Sound Tigers with an unassisted, empty net goal at 17:32 of the third stanza. Toffoli picked up the puck in the neutral zone, carried it into Bridgeport territory all alone and flipped it into the open net.
Jones (3-0-1) earned his first shutout of the season stopping all 38 shots he faced. Nilsson (1-2-0) took his second loss of the season, making 21 saves on 23 shots.