MANCHESTER, NH – Young Guns right wing Vladimir Dravecky, left wing Matt Moulson and right wing Teddy Purcell beat goaltender Al Montoya in a shootout to lift the Manchester Monarchs to their first win of the season over the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-4 in the shootout in front of 4,642 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (1-1-1-0) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with three points. Hartford (0-1-0-1) is ranked sixth in the Atlantic Division with one point.
The Young Guns were put to the test in the first shootout of the season. Moulson and Purcell both scored for the Monarchs and Dravecky made his presence known scoring the winning goal. Center Artem Anisimov had the only goal in the shootout for Hartford. Monarchs beat Hartford 5-4 in the shootout victory.
The Monarchs found the red light first in the game at 4:56 of the first period. On a 5-on-3 power play, defenseman Peter Harrold fed a pass to Purcell who carried the puck over the blueline into Hartford's zone. Purcell saw Moulson breaking in on his left and passed the puck up to him. Moulson sent a wrist shot over Hartford's starting goaltender Miika Wiikman for his first tally of the season.
Under two minutes later, the Monarchs doubled their lead to 2-0 on a 5-on-4 power play. Center Gabe Gauthier controlled the puck at the right face-off circle before sending a pass to Harrold stationed in the middle of zone. Open in the left face-off circle, Purcell uncorked a one-timer on Harrold's pass beating Wiikman glove side. The goal came at 6:40 of the opening frame and was Purcell's first professional goal.
Moulson scored his second goal of the night with 5:28 left in the first period. Purcell blasted a shot that bounced off the back boards to the right of Wiikman. Blazing toward the crease, Moulson put the tape to the rubber and stuffed the puck between Wiikman's pads and the right post lighting the lamp. Gauthier collected his second of three assists on the night.
At the start of the second period, Montoya replaced Wiikman between the pipes for Hartford.
Hartford came out scoring with only 14 ticks off the clock in the second period when right wing Greg Moore scored his first tally of the year. Left wing Lauri Korpikoski passed the puck to defenseman David Liffiton. The blueliner took the initial shot on Monarchs netminder Dan Cloutier who made a sprawling save. The puck trickled down Cloutier's pad and onto the stick of Moore who lifted the puck into the net cutting the lead to 3-1.
On the power play, Monarchs increased the lead back to three. Moulson fought for the puck behind the crease and was able to kick it out to Gauthier at the bottom of left face-off circle. Gauthier took a shot on net that Montoya blocked with his body. The puck bounced in front of the net where Purcell took the opportunity and put the puck in the open net at 5:40 into the second frame. The Monarchs led at 4-1.
At 12:58 of the second period, Anisimov followed the puck into the Monarchs zone and controlled the disk against the boards to the right post of Cloutier. Position at an awkward angle, Anisimov took a shot on net that ricocheted off of Cloutier and a player in front of the net. The puck crossed the red line and brought the score to 4-2. Right wing Alex Bourret and defenseman Darius Kasparaitis were given the assists on the play.
Hartford capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play at 7:42 of the final frame bringing the game to 4-3. Left wing Nigel Dawes and Bourret were passing the puck around the perimeter of the Monarchs zone. Moore was able to get open at the left post and received a pass from Bourret. Moore put the puck past a miss-positioned Cloutier for his second goal of the night.
With only one second left on the clock, Hartford tied the game up with Anisimov's second goal of the game. Montoya was pulled giving Hartford an extra man on the ice for the last 30 seconds of the game. There were a slew of players in front of the Monarchs net screening Cloutier. Anisimov's stick found the puck and sent the game into overtime tying the game at 4-4. Bourret and Dawes got the assists.
Cloutier was awarded the win by stopping 24-of-28 shots he faced, while Wiikman stopped 3-of-7 shots and Montoya took the loss stopping 19-of-20 shots on net.
The Monarchs host the Springfield Falcons at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday, October 13 at 7:05 p.m. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR-AM 610 and at www.manchestermonarchs.com. Watch the game live on B2 Networks for just $6 per game. Log onto www.manchestermonarchs.com and click on the link to B2 Networks ten minutes prior to the each Monarchs game to watch the game live.