MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs dropped a 3-2 decision to the Hartford Wolf Pack with six seconds left in the game in front of 5,137 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday evening
Manchester (26-26-0-5, 57 points) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford (30-23-2-3, 65 points) is in second place in the Atlantic Division.
"We've seen (losing the game in the final seconds) enough this year; it's painful," said Head Coach Mark Morris. They had some puck luck but we lost many puck battles in the end. (The players) kept us in the game and we had some glorious chances."
Hartford's game winning goal was scored by left wing Brodie Dupont at 19:54 of the third period. Center Artem Anisimov passed the puck from the left point to just under the end red line where defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti was waiting. Sanguinetti slapped the pass to the top right corner of the goal crease for the one-timer and final goal of the game. Dupont's winner was his 12th tally of the season.
Hartford scored the first goal of the game at 5:58 of the first period. Dupont sent the puck from behind the net to defenseman Corey Potter who was waiting on the right doorstep. Potter found center Tommy Pyatt at the left corner of the crease for a slap shot that beat Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Center Brian Boyle was in the penalty box for slashing when Pyatt scored his 14th goal of the season.
Center Mike Ouellette doubled Harford's score to 2-0 at 7:23 of the opening period. Defenseman David Urquhart skated down the left wing boards and took a slap shot from the left face-off circle. Bernier blocked the shot for the rebound but Ouellette jammed it in for his 10th goal of the season.
Boyle put the Monarchs on the board with a power play goal at 4:03 of the second period. Right wing Teddy Purcell brought the puck down the right wing and passed it to center Gabe Gauthier who was waiting in the left face-off circle. Gauthier sent a cross-ice feed to Boyle who shot the disk from the bottom of the right face-off circle past goaltender Matt Zaba for his sixth goal of the season.
Center Oscar Moller scored with seven seconds left of the second period sending both teams to the locker rooms with a tied game. Moller freed the puck from the end boards and skated around the left side of the goal for a wrap around shot and his first goal of the season. Gauthier and right wing David Meckler assisted on the goal that made it a 2-2 game.
"When you're playing 3-in-3, you can ill afford to get behind in the game," said Morris. "They scored on their first two shots. These are points we really need and we squandered them."
Bernier (13-17-3) took his 17th loss of the season with 25 saves on 28 shots. Zaba (14-8-0) earned his 14th victory by stopping 35-of-37 shots.
Manchester and Hartford were each 1-for-4 with the man advantage.