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Manchester drops second overtime game of the season

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Defenseman David Savard scored 3:13 into overtime as the Manchester Monarchs comeback fell short in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.

Manchester (33-17-2-5, 73 points) holds on to first place in the Atlantic Division with 73 points as they collected their second overtime loss of the season.  Springfield (26-25-1-3, 56 points) sits in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 56 points.

“Tonight’s overtime loss was an emotional roller coaster,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.  “Offensively, we might have played one of our best games.  There were about three highlight reel goals and our execution was stellar.

“After a strong first period, we found ourselves down by two goals.  We rallied in the second period to go ahead but squandered it.  We had several great chances in the third and in overtime but a rocket from the point shot off the post and eluded (Martin) Jonesy who was screened in front.  He played well in relief.  We came ready to play but the few mistakes we made were very costly ones.  We are pleased with the effort but we need everyone ready to play.”

Savard finished off the Monarchs with his second goal of the night and seventh of the season at 3:13 of overtime.  Center Trevor Frischmon fed the puck from the bottom right corner of the Monarchs zone up to Savard at the right point.  The defenseman sent the puck to his blueline partner defenseman Jonathan Sigalet at the left point before receiving it back.  Savard skated to just outside the right circle and fired a slap shot that beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones on his blocker side for the 5-4 final.

The Falcons began the game with a shorthanded goal off the stick of left wing Dane Byers at 4:32 of the opening frame.  Defenseman Nick Holden stole the puck away from Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche and carried it through the neutral zone.  Holden passed the puck to Byers who beat Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for his 11th goal of the season.

Savard sent the teams to their respective locker rooms with the Falcons carrying a 2-0 advantage with a power play goal at 19:47 of the first period.  Skating with the man advantage, Savard sent the puck from center ice to center Kyle Wilson along the left wing in the Monarchs zone.  Wilson returned the puck to Savard who ripped a shot past Zatkoff from just outside the left face-off circle for his sixth goal of the season.  Left wing Tom Sestito assisted on Savard’s first goal of the game.

The Monarchs started the second period with three goals in the first five minutes to give them a 3-2 lead over the Falcons.  Center Oscar Moller began the scoring for the Monarchs at 1:19 of the middle frame.  Right wing Brandon Kozun carried the puck into the Falcons zone.  From the high slot, Kozun found Moller in the right face-off circle.  Moller took two strides toward the net and ripped a wrist shot into the corner of the net to put the Monarchs on the scoresheet with his 15th tally of the season.

Left wing Bud Holloway responded to Moller’s goal with his 18th goal of the season at 4:13 of the second frame.  With Springfield putting on pressure in the Monarchs zone, center Justin Azevedo was able to clear the zone and connect with Holloway who picked up the puck and skated in all alone on goaltender Gustaf Wesslau.  Holloway came down the slot and snapped a wrister past Wesslau on his glove side.  Defenseman Jake Muzzin also picked up an assist on Holloway’s tally.

Just 25 seconds after Holloway’s goal, Kozun connected for his 15th tally of the season to give the Monarchs a 3-2 lead at 4:38 of the second period.  Kozun picked up the loose puck in the left corner and fed a pass over the Moller in the right corner.  Moller battled with Holden and eventually eluded the Falcons player to cut toward the net.  Moller sent the puck into the crease for Kozun to jam in under Wesslau.

Left wing Nikita Filatov responded to the Monarchs flurry of goals with his fourth goal of the season at 5:52 of the middle stanza.  Sigalet found Filatov between the hash marks and the winger beat Zatkoff to tie the game at 3-3.  Center Ben Guite also assisted on the goal.

The Falcons regained their one goal lead when left wing Maksim Mayorov scored his 16th goal of the season at 15:32 of the second period.  Guite carried the puck down the right wing of the Monarchs zone and shot the puck from the right face-off circle.  The puck bounced off the back of the net and got tangled in Zatkoff’s pads.  Mayorov was skating through the slot and flipped the puck into the net for the go-ahead goal.  Filatov earned an assist on Mayorov’s tally.

Jones replaced Zatkoff between the pipes for the Monarchs following the second period.

Left wing Dwight King scored the lone goal in the third period to tie the game and push overtime.  King broke into the Falcons zone with a defender trailing him along the left wing.  King picked up the loose puck along the left wing half-wall, cut to the net and flipped a backhand shot past Wesslau.  Holloway and Azevedo assisted on King’s tying goal.

Jones (19-7-1) took his seventh loss of the season, stopping all eight shots he faced in regulations and 1-of-2 shots in overtime.  Zatkoff (13-11-4) stopped 11-of-15 shots through two periods of play.  Wesslau (11-11-1) earned his 11 win of the season with 31 saves on 35 shots through regulation and overtime.

Manchester was 0-for-6 on the power play.  Springfield was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

Notables:  The Monarchs have earned at least a point in 10 of their last 11 games with a record of 6-1-1-3…Manchester suffered only their second overtime loss of the season; the first coming on October 29 against Bridgeport…Left wing Bud Holloway and right wing Brandon Kozun’s two goals 25 seconds apart is the fastest two goals between two Monarchs players this season…Holloway and left wing Dwight King lead the Monarchs with 18 goals each.

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