SPRINGFIELD, MA ? Center Marty Murray scored with just over a minute remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime but the Manchester Monarchs fell, 4-3, in a shootout to the Springfield Falcons in front of 3,161 fans at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
Manchester (33-29-0-7, 73 points) moves into a tie with the Portland Pirates (32-27-3-6, 73 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division. Springfield (21-37-7-4, 53 points) is in seventh place in the Atlantic Division.
Left wing Scott Parse was the lone Monarchs shooter to beat Falcons goaltender Devan Dubnyk in the shootout as he denied center Justin Azevedo, left wing Vladimir Dravecky, right wing David Meckler and right wing Trevor Lewis. Manchester's netminder Daniel Taylor stopped center Ryan Stone and left wing Charles Linglet in the shootout. Left wing Rob Schremp and center Ryan Potulny scored in the shootout for Springfield.
The score teeter-tottered back and forth through all three periods with Monarchs center Brian Boyle starting things off with his 10th goal of the season at 5:53 of the opening period. Skating on the power play, Parse was positioned at the left point and cycled the puck to Boyle in the right face-off circle. Boyle fed the puck to his right wing point, defenseman Tom Preissing, for the initial shot. Dubnyk made the save on Preissing's shot and the rebound fell to the goaltender's left side. Boyle chipped the puck past Dubnyk's glove for the early lead.
At 10:37 of the first period, Stone found the back of the Monarchs net for his 15th tally of the season. Springfield set up in the Monarchs zone with three players playing up high. Defenseman Cody Wild controlled the puck at the center point and sent a pass to Stone at the right point. Stone wound up for the one-timer that hit off of a Monarchs player and changed direction to beat Taylor. Defenseman Taylor Chorney also picked up an assist on the goal that brought the game to 1-1.
Potulny scored his first of two goals on the night at 7:45 of the middle frame as Murray sat in the penalty box for hooking. Potulny picked up a pass from Wild in the right face-off dot, controlled the puck and wristed a shot that snuck past Taylor's blocker for the center's 28th goal of the season and the 2-1 advantage. Chorney picked up his second assist of the night on the go-ahead goal.
The second period was not going to end in either team's favor as Preissing tallied his second goal of the season to even the score at 2-2. Scoring the third power play tally of the game and Manchester's second, Parse sent the puck from the point to Azevedo who found Preissing down low. Preissing shot the puck past Dubnyk and into the net to send the teams into the locker rooms all tied up.
Potulny put the Falcons back up on top with his 29th goal of the season at the 6:38 mark of the final period. As both teams battle for the puck in the right corner of the Monarchs zone, the biscuit was tossed high in the air and landed between the hash marks in front of Taylor. As Preissing leaned to get his stick on it and clear the puck, Potulny slapped at it first and was able to chip it into the net for the 3-2 lead. Linglet and Stone assisted on the goal.
Taylor skated to the bench to give Manchester the extra attacker late in the third period. Preissing blasted the puck into the Falcons zone to get the play started. Murray dug the puck out of the left corner and carried it behind the net before he passed it to Preissing in the right face-off circle. The veteran defenseman ripped a one-timer on net that Dubnyk made a pad save on. The puck bounced toward the right side of the net and Murray connected just before it hit the ice for the second bounce and redirected it past Dubnyk for his 13th goal of the season to tie the game at 18:58 of the final frame.
Taylor (7-2-2) took his second shootout loss of the season stopping 23-of-26 shots in regulation and 2-of-4 shootout snipers. Dubnyk (17-36-2) earned his 17th win of the season with 32 regulation saves and four shootout saves.
Manchester went 2-for-6 with the man advantage. Springfield was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.