MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Brad Winchester scored the overtime goal to lift the Hamilton Bulldogs over the Manchester Monarchs, 2-1, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in front of their fourth sellout of the season 9,916 fans on Saturday night.
Manchester (28-14-2-4, 62 points) is in second place in the Atlantic Division. Hamilton (19-30-0-2, 40 points) is in seventh place in the North Division.
Skating a man down with center Maxime Lapierre in the penalty box for slashing, the Bulldogs took advantage of a misplay by Monarchs defenseman Denis Grebeshkov that gave right wing Duncan Milroy a breakaway. Milroy sent a rocket blazing into the net behind Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust for his 11th goal of the season. Defenseman Danny Syvret and center J.J. Hunter assisted on the shorthanded goal to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at 18:03 of the first period.
Seconds after the Bulldogs hit the goal post twice, the Monarchs had a two-on-one breakaway on Hamilton goaltender Yann Danis. Right wing Lauri Tukonen and left wing Jeff Tambellini skated down the ice into the Bulldogs zone. Tukonen attempted the pass to Tambellini but the play was broken up by the lone Bulldogs defenseman as he interrupted the pass with a poke check. A streaking center Connor James flew into the zone and pounced on the open puck. James beat Danis top shelf for his 12th goal of the season at 12:57 of the middle frame.
At 2:08 of the overtime period, Winchester scored an unassisted goal to lift his seventh place team to their 19th victory of the season. Winchester split the Monarchs defense and deked Brust for the game-winning goal.
Brust (11-5-1) took the loss, his fifth of the season, stopping 29 shots. Danis (12-13-1) earned his 12th victory of the season with 16 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Hamilton was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.