Manchester (38-19-2-5, 83 points) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 83 points. Worcester (27-22-4-8, 66 points) is tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with 66 points.
“Tonight was a thriller for our team to come back from a two-goal deficit after the first,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “There were times a win looked improbable. We played hard from the outset but found ourselves in a hole. The players knew we were deserving of a better fate. It took a while but we hung around and didn’t quit.
“(Brandon) Kozun’s goal pulled us back into it and gave us hope. It remained that way until (Viatcheslav) Voynov fired a rocket from the blueline to tie things up late. Moller buried the game-winner on a 2-on-1 rush. It was a great comeback and it was a gutsy effort. We scratched and clawed for the two points.”
Moller scored his 17th goal of the season at 3:24 of overtime to finish the Monarchs come-from-behind victory. Breaking up the play in the neutral zone, Moller broke in on a two-on-one with center Marc-Andre Cliche
. Moller skated down the right wing and faked a shot from just outside the right face-off circle. After the fake, he carried the puck down to the bottom of the circle and flipped a shot between netminder Tyson Sexsmith and the right post to end the game.
The Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead with first period goals by right wing Benn Ferriero and center Andrew Desjardins. At 10:42 of the opening frame, Ferriero skated down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle that beat Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff
for his 13th goal of the season. Left wing T.J. Trevelyan and left wing Brandon Mashinter earned the assists on the first goal of the game.
With exactly one minute remaining in the first period, Desjardins doubled the Sharks lead to 2-0 before heading into the locker room. With tic-tac-toe passing, the puck traveled from right wing Dan DaSilva to left wing Kevin Henderson who then found Desjardins in the slot for his 12th goal of the season.
Skating on the power play, right wing Brandon Kozun
backhanded the puck into the open net for his 20th goal of the season to cut the Sharks lead in half. Left wing Bud Holloway
collected the puck behind the Sharks cage and fed a pass up to center Justin Azevedo
who was positioned in the high slot. Azevedo blasted a slap shot that Sexsmith made the save on but Kozun was in the slot to flip in the backhand to bring the Monarchs to within one goal.
Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov tied the game at 2-2 at 12:09 of the third period. Right wing John Zeiler fought off a Sharks player along the left wing half wall as he slid the puck to Voynov who was all alone just inside the center point. He wound up and rifled a blistering slap shot that traveled through bodies in front of the net and into the top left corner of the net for his 13th goal of the season.
Zatkoff (15-12-4) earned his 15th win of the season, stopping 29-of-31 shots on goal. Sexsmith (1-1-1) took his first overtime loss of the season with 29 saves on 32 shots on goal.
Manchester was 1-for-4 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.Notables:
The Monarchs have won four of their last five games…Manchester has extended their first place lead to six points over Portland…Center Oscar Moller recorded his sixth game-winning goal of the season and is now tied for third place in the AHL in that category…Right wing Brandon Kozun
extended his point streak to six games with a goal tonight…Kozun now has five goals and five assists for 10 points in his last six games…Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov scored his first goal since February 4, 2011…Center Corey Elkins
was assessed a game misconduct in the second period when he was the third man in a fight between Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis
and Sharks center Andrew Desjardins.