MANCHESTER, NH – Center Gabe Gauthier scored just over one minute after the Springfield Falcons scored the tying goal late in the third period to catapult the Manchester Monarchs to a 4-3 victory in front of 5,627 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (2-1-1-0) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with five points. Springfield (3-2-0-0) is narrowly leading the Atlantic Division with six points (3-2-0-0).
Young Gun Gauthier scored the game-winning goal at 17:58 of the final stanza. Right wing Teddy Purcell carried the puck over the Falcons blueline and sent it in deep to left wing Matt Moulson at the bottom of the right face-off circle. Moulson found Gauthier streaking to the net for the one-timer that soared between goaltender Jeff Deslauriers' right pad and the goal post.
Exactly one minute and one second before Gauthier tallied his second goal of the season, Falcons center Patrick Thoresen scored his second goal of the night and third tally of the season to even the game at 3-3 at 16:57 of the third period. Skating up the ice and weaving through bodies from neutral ice to the bottom of the right face-off circle, Thoresen flicked a snap shot over Monarchs goaltender Erik Ersberg's right pad and into the left corner of the net. Center Robert Nilsson and defenseman Sebastien Bisaillon assisted on the tying goal.
The Young Guns went to work early in the contest as center David Meckler tallied his second goal of the season at the 39-second mark of the game. Defenseman Peter Harrold passed the puck to his blueline partner defenseman Brian Boyle at the left point. Boyle fired a slap shot on net that hit goaltender Devan Dubnyk square in the chest. The puck fell to his feet for Meckler to swipe with a backhand and between the legs of Dubnyk for the first goal of the game.
Moulson increased the Monarchs lead to 2-0 with his third goal of the season at 9:20 of the opening frame. Harrold corralled the puck in the left face-off circle on the power play looking for an open shot. The second year defenseman found Moulson stationed at the right goal post. The pass hit off the Young Gun's shin pads and fell to his feet. Moulson slid the puck into the open net as Dubnyk was not able to slide from his right to left fast enough. Gauthier earned his fifth assist in three games on the goal.
Springfield cut the Monarchs lead in half at 2:56 of the second period with left wing Liam Reddox's second goal of the season. Left wing Jean-Francois Jacques handed the puck off to defenseman Ladislav Smid in the left face-off circle. Smid flipped a wrist shot at a barrage of bodies in front of the net. The puck bounced off of Reddox and ricocheted through the five-hole of Monarchs Ersberg for the goal.
Center Trevor Lewis redirected defenseman Troy Milam's shot from the left point at 11:56 of the middle stanza to increase the Monarchs lead to 3-1. Defenseman Jeff Likens fed the puck to his defensive partner. Milam snapped a low shot on net that Lewis was able to get his stick on and tip past Dubnyk.
Deslauriers replaced Dubnyk between the pipes for Springfield following Lewis' goal at 11:56 of the second period. Dubnyk made 21 saves.
At 16:53 of the second period, Thoresen tallied his second goal of the season with a bad angle shot. Nilsson handed off the puck to Thoresen along the right boards. Thoresen tossed the puck into the slot from the bottom of the right face-off circle. The puck bounced off several sticks and Monarchs bodies and trickled between the legs of Ersberg to bring the Falcons to within one goal. Defenseman Bryan Young earned an assist on the goal that put the score at 3-2.
Harrold took a diving shot in the final seconds of the middle period and beat Dubnyk but the puck rang off the left post.
Ersberg earned his first victory of his professional career by stopping 23-of-26 shots. Deslauriers took the loss for the Falcons with 15 saves in a period and a half of play.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.