PORTLAND, ME –
Center Justin Azevedo
gave the Manchester Monarchs their second consecutive victory over the Portland Pirates, a 2-1 overtime win at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (19-11-1-1) picked up their 19th win of the season and remains in first place in the Atlantic Division with 40 points. Portland (17-9-2-1) took their second overtime loss of the season and is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 37 points.
“We played pretty hard for the two points,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the overtime victory. “The first period, we didn’t look too hot but our penalty killers and goaltender kept us in there. From the puck drop to the end of the game, I thought we had the puck for a majority of the play. (Jhonas) Enroth was real sharp and it took overtime to beat him. We had several breakaways in the game and we didn’t cash in on those but all it took was one.”
Azevedo’s 10th goal of the season came 53 seconds into the overtime period to give the Monarchs a 2-1 win. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov picked up the puck in the Monarchs zone and began the rush up the ice. As he crossed the Pirates blueline, Voynov passed the puck to left wing Bud Holloway
who was streaking down the center of the ice. Holloway quickly fed the puck over to Azevedo at the top of the right face-off circle for the one-timer that found the back of the net.
Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani broke the scoreless tie at 11:14 of the second period with his sixth tally of the season. Center Brian Roloff grabbed control of the puck from a Monarchs defender and fed it back to Gragnani at the left point. Gragnani fired a slap shot through traffic that beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.
Defenseman Thomas Hickey
netted his fourth goal of the season at 8:10 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1 with a shorthanded tally. Voynov rang a shot from the left point off the post and then the Monarchs went to work down low. Voynov gathered the puck and passed it over to center Andrei Loktionov
who found Hickey on the right doorstep. Hickey flipped the puck up and over Pirates netminder Jhonas Enroth to tie the game.
Jones (8-2-0) recorded his eighth victory of the season, making 36 saves on 37 shots on goal. Enroth (8-7-2) lost his second overtime game of the season, halting 42-of-44 shots on goal.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.Notables:
Center Justin Azevedo
scored his team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season which ties him for second place in the AHL…Left wing Bud Holloway
has five points (3-2=5) in his last three games, all against the Portland Pirates…Defenseman Thomas Hickey
is on a five-game point streak with a goal and four assists for five points…Hickey’s four-game assist streak ended tonight.