SPRINGFIELD, MA – Two third period power play goals carry the Manchester Monarchs past the Springfield Falcons with a 5-3 road victory, Manchester's first of the season, in front of 3,005 fans at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (4-4-1-1) is tied for sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 10 points. Springfield (5-5-0-2) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 12 points.
Right wing Lauri Tukonen tallied his first goal of the season and the game-winner at 14:59 of the third period. On the power play, defenseman Peter Harrold carried the puck to the right point in the Falcons zone. Harrold found Tukonen at the left doorstep of goaltender Devan Dubnyk for the one-timer and game-winner. Center Gabe Gauthier earned an assist on the go-ahead goal.
Following a scoreless first period, both teams went to work in the second frame with a total of five goals finding the back of the net. Left wing Tim Sestito started the scoring with his first tally of the season at 4:15 of the middle frame as he skated down the right wing and let a wrist shot go from the right face-off dot. The shot traveled through the air and beat Monarchs netminder Erik Ersberg for the first goal of game. Defensemen Rick Berry and Allan Rourke assisted on the tally.
Manchester evened the score at 1-1 as rookie center Brady Murray collected his second goal of the season at 10:09 of the second period. Right wing Teddy Purcell carried the puck into the Falcons zone and put the brakes on along the right wing boards above the face-off circle. Purcell sent a cross-ice feed to Murray streaking down the left wing boards. Murray lifted a one-timer over Dubnyk and into the top of the net. Right wing Vladimir Dravecky earned his third point of the season with an assist on the goal.
Center David Meckler made it 2-1 just 49-seconds later with his third goal of the season and third tally against Springfield. Defenseman and newly named captain Jon Klemm fired a shot on Dubnyk from the right point. The goaltender made the initial save on Klemm's shot but the rebound fell to his feet. Dravecky was able to get a shot off but the puck did not cross the line until Meckler got his stick on it.
The rest of the second period belonged to the Falcons as Rourke and right wing Troy Bodie scored for the 3-2 lead heading into the locker room. Rourke picked up a power play goal at 15:47 of the middle frame. Center Patrick Thoresen passed the puck to Rourke in the right face-off circle for a one-timer that sailed past Ersberg on his stick side. Right wing Colin McDonald earned an assist on the tying goal.
Bodie's fourth goal of the season at 19:14 of the second stanza gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead after two periods. Left wing Jean-Francois Jacques carried the puck behind the Monarchs net and attempted a wrap around. The puck slid through the crease and onto the stick of Bodie for the open net. Center Marc Pouliot also collected an assist.
The Monarchs took over in the third period with two power play goals. In the right face-off circle, defenseman Troy Milam collected a pass from Murray and blasted a shot into the back of the net for his third goal of the season at 5:59 of the final stanza. Murray's second point of the game was the lone assist on the goal to bring the game to 3-3.
Harrold finished off the Falcons with an empty net goal, his first tally of the season, at 19:41 of the third period. Gauthier collected the lone assist on the insurance goal.
Ersberg (3-1-1) earned the Monarchs first road victory stopping 24 of 27 shots. Dubnyk (1-4-0) took the loss with 32 saves.
Manchester was 2-for-5 on the power play. Springfield was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.