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Martinez Wins It In OT for Monarchs

by Kim Mueller / Los Angeles Kings
PROVIDENCE, RI – Defenseman Alec Martinez scored at 3:44 of overtime to complete the Manchester Monarchs come from behind, 4-3, overtime victory over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday evening. The Monarchs have won four consecutive games.

Manchester (39-26-3-6) remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 87 points. Providence (33-35-5-1) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 72 points.

“Our comeback, overtime win capped off a huge week for our team,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “A strong third period and a gritty penalty kill effort set the stage for Alec Martinez’s best imitation of Denis Savard.

Justin Azevedo won the draw and Bud Holloway’s screen created the scenario which unfolded. Martinez finished off the play with a well placed shot to beat (Dany) Sabourin.”

Martinez finished the Monarchs come from behind victory with his sixth goal of the season at 3:44 of overtime. Center Justin Azevedo won the face-off in the right circle of the Bruins zone. Martinez took the puck, pivoted away from a Bruins player and cut to the hash marks where he fired a shot through traffic and into the net for the game-winner.

Following the completion of his college career at Brown University, right wing Devin Timberlake scored his first professional goal in his debut with the Bruins at 18:43 of the opening period. Defenseman Alain Goulet ripped a shot from the center point that traveled through traffic and was deflected past Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier by Timberlake. Right wing Yannick Riendeau assisted on the first goal of the game.

Left wing Dwight King answered back at 8:13 of the second period with his 10th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Skating on the power play, center Oscar Moller fired a shot on goaltender Dany Sabourin from the right face-off circle. Sabourin made the initial save but King was positioned on the doorstep to tap in the spare change. Martinez picked up an assist on the tying goal.

Just 13 seconds following King’s goal, center Levi Nelson gave the Bruins their lead back with his eighth tally of the season. Riendeau fed the puck to Nelson in the neutral zone heading toward Monarchs’ territory. Nelson carried the pass into the left face-off circle where he snapped a wrist shot that beat Bernier and soared into the top of the net. Center Kenny Roche earned an assist on the goal that gave the Bruins a 2-1 advantage.

Defenseman Andy Wozniewski advanced Providence’s lead to 3-1 at 1:30 of the final frame. Left wing John Lammers sent a feed to right wing Mikko Lehtonen in the left face-off circle. Lehtonen’s shot on Bernier was stopped but the rebound bounced over to the right face-off circle. Wozniewski pinched in from the point and backhanded the puck over the sprawled out goaltender for his 10th goal of the season.

The Monarchs fought back with right wing Trevor Lewis’ third goal of the season at 3:41 of the third period. Moller gave the puck to center Andrei Loktionov in the neutral zone and the rookie forward carried the puck over the Bruins blueline and into the enemy’s territory. At the top of the right face-off circle, Loktionov wound up and fired a slap shot that Sabourin stopped with his right pad. The rebound flew out to the high slot where Lewis skated in for the one-timer that found its way into the top left corner of the net.

Loktionov tied the game at 3-3 at 14:07 of the third period with his eighth goal of the season. The Bruins collected the puck deep in their zone and began to skate up the right wing when Loktionov stole the rubber biscuit at the top of the right face-off circle. He took two strides toward Sabourin before quickly releasing a snap shot that beat the netminder on his blocker side. King was credited with an assist on the tying goal.

Bernier (29-20-6) recorded his 29th victory of the season, stopping 37-of-40 shots. Sabourin (25-25-0) drew his 25th loss of the season with 33 saves on 37 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.

NOTABLES: The Monarchs have won their last four consecutive games after tying their longest franchise losing streak of four games (0-3-1-0) from March 7-17, 2010…Defenseman Alec Martinez has recorded 12 points (2-10=12) in his last seven games…Center Andrei Loktionov returned to the line-up on Friday, March 26 and has collected three points (2-1=3) in three games this weekend…Center Oscar Moller is on a six-game scoring streak, which is tied for the longest Monarchs point streak of the season, with nine points (3-6=9)…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is ranked third in the AHL with 29 wins this season.
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