PORTLAND, ME – Defenseman David Kolomatis
scored the fastest overtime goal in franchise history as the Manchester Monarchs came from behind to top the Portland Pirates, 2-1, in overtime at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (22-9-1-2) continues to lead the AHL with 47 points. Portland (16-12-4-2) is ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with 38 points.
“We seemed to get stronger as the game went along,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the overtime win. “We were a little dusty to begin with and strong goaltending kept us in the game early. We had a few chances in the first (period); one being a glorious chance by Geoff Walker on a breakaway but (Jhonas) Enroth stopped him. As the game wore on, we seemed to have a little more jump in our step. We gave ourselves a chance with David Meckler’s goal. And then in overtime, a beautiful feed by (Gabe) Gauthier to (David) Kolomatis on the doorstep gave us the victory.”
The game-winning goal, only 31 seconds into overtime, came off of Kolomatis’ stick for his second tally of the season. Right wing Scott Parse passed the puck over to center Gabe Gauthier who skated down the left wing toward the net. With Kolomatis skating parallel to him down the center of the ice, Gauthier fed a pass through the top of the crease for the one-timer by Kolomatis past goaltender Jhonas Enroth for the 2-1 victory.
The Pirates struck early with left wing Brad Larsen’s fourth tally of the season at 4:21 of the opening period. Defenseman Mike Weber teed up a shot from just inside the Monarchs blueline. The puck traveled through traffic and was tipped past Monarchs netminder Jonathan Bernier by Larsen for the first goal of the game. Defenseman Drew Shiestel assisted on the Pirates lone goal of the game.
Monarchs left wing David Meckler evened the game at 1-1 with his seventh goal of the season at 9:28 of the third period. With the puck bouncing loosely throughout the neutral zone, right wing Richard Clune chipped it up the ice to Meckler who skated down the right wing of the Pirates zone. At the right face-off circle, Meckler ripped a shot over Enroth’s right shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.
Bernier (16-8-2) collected his 16th win of the season with 27 saves on 28 shots. Enroth (10-10-1) took the overtime loss with 20 saves.
Manchester was 0-for-3 on the power play. Portland did not have a power play opportunity in the game.
Notables: The Monarchs won their first overtime game of the season…Manchester’s last overtime win was a 1-0 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Verizon Wireless Arena on March 6, 2009…Defenseman David Kolomatis’ game-winning goal is the fastest overtime goal in the Monarchs franchise history at 31 seconds…The previous record is 46 seconds set by forward Jared Aulin in a 2-1 overtime win over the Portland Pirates in Maine on November 2, 2002…Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier is tied for the league lead with 16 wins.