MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs earned their 12th consecutive win by beating the Springfield Falcons 3-2 in front of 7,731 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Monarchs are unbeaten in their last twelve (12-0-0-0) and currently hold the AHL record for the most consecutive wins this season. It also beats last season's record of 11 consecutive wins set by the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Manchester (34-12-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 75 points. Springfield (23-30-0-2) is ranked seventh place in the Atlantic Division with 48 points.
At 14:46 of the opening frame, the Monarchs broke the scoreless tie when defenseman Doug Nolan became the last Monarch on the current roster to record a goal this season. Monarchs right wing John Zeiler was behind the Falcons net and found Nolan in the high slot. Nolan cradled the pass and fired a snap shot toward bodies in front of the net. The puck deflected off of a Falcons defenseman and snuck inside the right post for the tally. Left wing Matt Moulson earned an assist on the goal.
Just before the halfway mark of the second period, Springfield left wing Marek Kvapil tied the game at 1-1. Kvapil took a snap shot from the left circle that changed direction on its way to the net. The puck went over Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera and into the top left corner. When the puck crossed the goal line at 8:04, it ended a shutout streak of 172 minutes and 16 seconds that began in the second period against the Providence Bruins on February 3.
At 13:37 of the second period, the Falcons pulled ahead 2-1 on a goal by right wing Norm Milley. The winger pulled loose from Monarchs defenseman T.J. Kemp in the left face-off circle and fired a slap shot in the slot over the glove of LaBarbera.
Just 36 seconds into the third period, Monarchs defenseman Kevin Dallman picked up the bouncing puck behind the net from Moulson. Dallman settled the puck and uncorked a slap shot that beat goaltender Gerald Coleman on the glove side.
With 11:59 remaining in the game, Dallman struck again. The defenseman came down the left wing boards and into the Falcon's zone. Dallman beat a sprawling defender with some shifty stick work and broke toward the net. The puck hopped on edge, hit a Falcons defenseman's skate and came back to Dallman who stuffed the puck home past a sliding Coleman to make the score 3-2.
LaBarbera backstopped the win with a 37 save performance. Coleman took the loss stopping 22-of-25.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-6 while playing with the man advantage. The Monarchs have killed off their last 40 penalties.