PORTLAND, ME ? Center Stephen Dixon scored the game-winning goal 16-seconds into overtime to give the Portland Pirates a 5-4 overtime win over the Manchester Monarchs in front of 5,614 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (6-9-2-1) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 15 points. Portland (11-7-1-1) is tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with 24 points.
Dixon's second tally of the night and seventh goal of the season came at the 16-second mark of overtime. Defenseman Brian Salcido passed the puck to forward Ryan Carter in neutral ice. Carter found Dixon along the Monarchs blueline who then carried the puck down the right wing. Skating around Monarchs defenseman Brian Boyle and toward the net, Dixon flipped a backhand shot that snuck between goaltender Jonathan Quick and the right post for the 5-4 final.
Defenseman Peter Harrold put the Monarchs on the board at 3:54 of the opening period with his third goal of the season and second in as many games. On the power play as center Petteri Wirtanen sat in the box for hooking, the Monarchs went to work and capitalized just four-seconds into the man advantage. Boyle won the face-off from the right dot back to Harrold. The second-year defenseman beat Pirates netminder Gerald Coleman stick side to start off the scoring.
The Monarchs kept their 1-0 lead until the 53-second mark of the second period when right wing Bobby Ryan tallied his seventh goal of the season. Monarchs right wing Lauri Tukonen was in the penalty box for goaltender interference for the start of the middle frame. With the man advantage, Portland carried into the Monarchs zone and set up their power play. Salcido cycled the puck to center Geoff Platt. Finding his open teammate at the point, Platt passed the puck to center Jason King for the snapped shot through traffic. Ryan tipped the shot past Quick to even the game at 1-1.
Boyle regained the Monarchs one goal lead at 1:37 of the middle stanza with his seventh goal of the season. On the power play, Boyle won the draw back to his defensive partner, Harrold, who carried the puck to the center point while Boyle set himself up in front of Coleman. Harrold blasted a slap shot from the point that Boyle tipped between Coleman's legs to give Manchester the 2-1 lead.
Harrold continued to put points on the board with his fourth goal of the season and second of the night at 10:17 of the second period. Left wing Petr Kanko passed the puck up to Harrold at the right point. Finding right wing Kevin Westgarth parked in front of Coleman for the screen, Harrold fired a slap shot into the net.
Portland did not let a two-goal deficit keep them down as Salcido brought his team to within one at 15:17 of the middle frame. The Pirates second power play tally of the night, Salcido collected the puck between the top of the face-off circles. Finding the shooting lane, Salcido shot his fourth goal of the season into the left corner of the net, beating Quick stick-side. Platt and King assisted on the tally to bring the game to 3-2.
Dixon sent both teams to the locker room for the second intermission deadlocked in a 3-3 tie when he scored his sixth goal of the season at 19:22 of the middle period. Dixon stole the puck away from Monarchs defenseman Troy Milam at the top of the Monarchs defensive zone as the teams skated 4-on-4. Skating one-on-one with Quick, Dixon flipped a wrist shot over the goaltender's stick and into the net. Salcido and Platt were credited with assists on the tying goal.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third period until Monarchs left wing Jeff Giuliano scored his first goal of the season and Manchester's first shorthanded goal of the season at the 16-minute mark of the final frame. Monarchs left wing Paul Crosty was sent to the penalty box for boarding and Portland went to work looking for their third power play goal of the night. Manchester cleared the puck into the Pirates zone and center David Meckler and Giuliano skated in on Coleman with two Portland players. Meckler patiently split the two Pirates players and nudged the puck up to Giuliano who lifted it over the sprawling Coleman for the 4-3 advantage.
At 19:39 of the third period, King scored his ninth goal of the year to tie the game and push overtime. Salcido slid the puck to King along the point for the one-timer that flew through traffic and into the net as Quick slid along the ice. Wirtanen earned an assist on the tying goal.
Quick (0-1-0) stopped 24-of-29 shots for the overtime loss in his AHL debut. Coleman (3-1-0) turned aside 22 of the 26 shots he faced for the win.
Manchester went 2-for-5 on the power play. Portland was 2-for-6 with the man advantage.