The Lowell Lock Monsters got the total team effort on
shutting out the Mighty Ducks of Cinciannati. It was the first
shutout in Lowell franchise history. Goaltender Marcel Cousineau's 23
saves will go down in the recordbooks.
These two teams were division rivals in the past when the Lowell
franchise was based in Kentucky, an hour from Cincinnati. Both teams
didn't play like they were past rivals though as just 12 minor
penalties were wistled down all night.
Mike Kennedy opened the scoring at 5:39 of the 1st, scoring his first
of the year. Dimitri Nabkov added his 2nd tally of the year at the
14:10 mark of the 3rd period and Kennedy added his 2nd of the night,
2nd of the year at 19:37.
Mighty Ducks goaltender Tom Askey made 17 saves in the loss. Another
intimate gathering of just 1,521 witnessed the game at Tsongas Arena.
Both teams were a combined 0-for-12 on the power play. The Ducks
continue to be winless on their eastern road trip.
The Lock Monsters return to the ice against the Syracuse Crunch on
Friday night. The game is available via Internet Audio. (http://www.broadcast.com)
Dmitri Nabokov is in the AHL to pound some good old Mike Kennedy honesty into his game.
And Marcel Cousineau is a goalie, so he's here to just stop the puck anyway he can.
Last night, Kennedy scored 2 goals (1 empty-netter), Nabokov scored 1 goal and Cousineau made 23 saves as the Lowell Lock Monsters defeated the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks 3-0 before 1,521 fans at Tsongas Arena.
"We're getting closer to playing a complete game," said Lowell coach Frank Anzalone, whose New York Islander wannabes improved to 3-2-0 despite a second-period pause. "The key tonight is that when we messed up, Cousineau made big saves."
Cousineau was busier later, as Cincinnati outshot Lowell 18-6 over the final two periods, when the Mighty Ducks enjoyed a 5-1 advantage in power plays.
But on the final leg of their 0-3-1 six-day trip through Hamilton, Rochester, Worcester and Lowell, the Mighty Ducks were 0-for-7 on the power play last night.
Lowell came into the game with the AHL's top power play (6-for-19, 31.57 percent) but went 0-for-5, despite four premium chances during a two-man advantage for 1:21 in the first period.
After outshooting Cincinnati 14-5 while taking a 1-0 first-period lead, the Lock Monsters leaned on Cousineau, 25, who appeared in 15 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past two seasons.
"Our guys played well," said Cousineau. "They let me see the puck. When your teammates give you a clear shot all night, without deflections, it's easy."
Kennedy, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound center signed by the Islanders last month as a free agent after seeing the NHL again with Toronto and Dallas last season, hammered home his first goal of the season off a centering pass by Steve Webb at 5:39 of the first period.
Among fifteen current Lock Monsters with NHL experience, Kennedy has the most experience -- 149 games over the past four seasons, including five playoff games with the Dallas Stars in 1995.
"I know what my role is up there (in the NHL) and I know I can fill it for any team that needs it," said Kennedy, 26, a devout dump-and-chase forechecker with 16 career NHL goals. "Down here I get a chance to work on my skill level. I get a chance to feel the puck and make some plays."
Lowell clung to a 1-0 lead until Mark Lawrence chipped the puck out of the Lowell zone and it connected with a late-returning Nabokov, who curled away to beat Tom Askey (17 saves) on a breakaway for a 2-0 lead at 14:10 of the third period.
Kennedy flipped the final goal into an empty net from just inside Lowell's blue line at 19:37.
Nabokov, 19th overall pick in the 1995 draft, had 7 goals and 4 assists in 25 games with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. The Islanders acquired the 21-year-old, 6-foot-2, 216-pound forward last May in a deal that sent J.P. Dumont, third overall pick in '96, to Chicago.
"Nabokov is a guy with NHL skill level," said Anzalone, "but you have to play both ends of the ice in the (NHL). You should in the American League, too. But this is the learning place. He's a European player who has always lived on finesse and offense. But he's coming around."
Last night's was the second of five consecutive home games for the Lock Monsters. They play the Syracuse Crunch tomorrow and the Providence Bruins on Saturday. The opening faceoff is 7:30 each night.
Lock Monsters kill off penalties, Cincinnati
The Lock Monsters killed their penalties.
Seven times the Monsters, ranked 18th of the 19 American Hockey League teams in the penalty-killing department, found themselves down a man. Each time they emerged unscathed.
Combine that with a pair of goals by Mike Kennedy, one by Dmitri Nabokov, and a shutout performance by goaltender Marcel Cousineau, and the Lock Monsters skated off with a 3-0 win before a home crowd of 1,521.
''We did some good things,'' said Lock Monster coach Frank Anzalone, whose club improved to 3-2 with the win. ''We didn't play for a complete 60 minutes, but we're getting better. We still took four minor penalties in the second period, and we need to correct that.''
The Lock Monsters got involved right away, whistled for a slash just 30 seconds into the game.
Cousineau pounced on the lone threat of the Cincinnati power play, actually a pass that deflected dangerously off the foot of his own defenseman and headed for the goal.
After that, it was all Lock Monsters in the first period. Kennedy, denied on a one-timer just seconds before, made the most of his second chance when winger Steve Webb worked the puck out of the corner and found him alone. Kennedy beat Ducks goalie Tom Askey through the leg pads to give the Monsters the lead 5:39 into the first period.
Lowell managed just two shots in the middle stanza, playing much of the period shorthanded. Charron, Dane Jackson, Zdeno Chara, John Namestnikov, Kennedy and Haggerty were among those combining with Cousineau to shut down the Cincinnati power play in the second period.
Cincinnati turned up the heat in the final frame, bombarding Cousineau with six straight shots during one stretch that began around the 10-minute mark.
The tide turned quickly back in Lowell's favor, however, when Nabokov scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0. Kennedy, who once scored an overtime goal against the Detroit Red Wings while skating for the Dallas Stars in the NHL, added an open-netter, making it 3-0.
LOWELL, Mass. -- Mike Kennedy scored two goals
and Marcel Cousineau
stopped 23 shots as the Lowell Lock Monsters handed the Cincinnati
Mighty Ducks a 3-0 defeat Wednesday in the American Hockey League.
Kennedy, a former Dallas Star, scored his first goal 5:39 into the
first period when he took a pass out of the left corner from Sean
Haggerty in the slot and deposited the puck past Ducks goalie Tom
Askey for his first goal of the season.
Dmitri Nabokov made it 2-0 when he scored his second goal of the
season at 14:10 of the third period on a breakaway.
Kennedy scored an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left to clinch the
game for Lowell (3-2-0-0).
Cousineau, who spent most of last season in the NHL with the Toronto
Maple Leafs, was spectacular in recording his first shutout of the
season, stopping 18 shots over the final two periods.
Askey also looked sharp for Cincinnati, stopping 19-of-21 shots.
"That's a pretty good hockey team we played tonight," Ducks coach Moe
Mantha said. "(Lowell) is an expansion team in name only around the
American Hockey League. They've got quite a few players that have been
around in this league like (Craig) Charron, (Zdeno) Chara, (Sean)
Haggerty and (Steve) Webb and some other guys that came over from the
International (Hockey) League."
The Ducks played Wednesday without two of their leading scorers in
Frank Banham (concussion) and captain Craig Reichert (flu). Byron
Briske (dislocated shoulder) and rookie Tony Mohagen (concussion) were
also out of the lineup with injuries.
"Here we go again," Mantha said, referring to last season when
Cincinnati led the AHL with 327 man-games missed due to injury. "We're
short on defense, at center and two men short at right wing. It's just
our fifth game of the year and already we're going through some
The Mighty Ducks (1-3-0-1) return home to play Rochester Saturday at
the Cincinnati Gardens (7:35 p.m.).