SPRINGFIELD, MA ? The Manchester Monarchs battled into the ninth round of a shootout to eventually fall to the Springfield Falcons, 3-2, in a shootout in front of 2,762 fans at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
Manchester (16-14-0-5) is tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with the Worcester Sharks (18-16-0-1) with 37 points. Springfield (13-17-4-1, 31 points) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division.
Center David Meckler, left wing Scott Parse (2), left wing Vladimir Dravecky (2) and right wing Trevor Lewis scored for the Monarchs in the nine-round shootout. Manchester goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 2-of-9 shooters. Center Ryan Potulny (2), left wing Rob Schremp, left wing Bryan Lerg (2), right wing Carl Corazzini and left wing Derek Bekar scored for the Falcons. Springfield netminder Jeff Deslauriers stopped 3-of-9 snipers in the shootout.
Following a scoreless opening period, left wing Guillaume Lefebvre put the Falcons on the board at 3:58 of the middle stanza. Center Ryan O'Marra pushed the puck back to the point for defenseman Bryan Young on the left side. Young ripped a slap shot on Bernier who made the pad save at the top of the crease. Lefebvre was on the doorstep to backhand the rebound into the net for the 1-0 tally.
The Monarchs lit the lamp at 7:49 of the final frame when Parse put in his eighth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1. Defenseman Alec Martinez skated into the Falcons zone and headed straight to the net. At point blank range, he fired a shot on Deslauriers. The netminder made the save but the rebound found its way to Parse who was wide open on the left side for the one-timer into the open net.
Potulny put the Falcons ahead at 18:59 of the third period with a one-timer from the top of the left face-off circle. Right wing Colin McDonald carried the puck into the Monarchs zone along the left wing boards and dropped the puck back to Potulny for the shot that beat Bernier five-hole. Defenseman Theo Peckham picked up an assist on Potulny's 17th tally of the season.
Only 19 seconds after Potulny's goal, Martinez scored his fourth tally of the season to keep the Monarchs alive and force overtime. Lewis won the face-off in the right circle back to Martinez. The rookie defenseman sidestepped a Falcons player along the right boards, stepped into the circle and snapped a wrist shot that beat Deslauriers on his blocker side for a 2-2 contest.
Bernier (10-8-3) took his third shootout loss of the season with 29 saves on 31 shots. Deslauriers (1-1-0) earned his first win of the season stopping 27-of-29 shots.
Manchester did not have a power play. Springfield was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.