WINNIPEG, MB – The Manchester Monarchs fought to come from behind but ran out of time as they fell to the Manitoba Moose, 3-2, in front of 6,099 fans at the MTS Centre on Wednesday night.
Manchester (12-12-0-4, 28 points) is tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Manitoba (20-7-0-0, 40 points) is in first place in the North Division.
Left wing Mark Derlago picked up a goal to accompany his assist in the game at the 5:17-mark of the final stanza. Right wing Michel Ouellet picked up the puck along the left wing boards and skated in on Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff with Derlago to his right and one Monarchs defenseman in between them. Derlago collected a pass from Ouellet and snapped a shot into the open net as Zatkoff dove from his right to left. Center Jason Krog assisted on Derlago's fourth goal of the season.
The Moose began the scoring at 4:52 of the opening frame with veteran right wing Mike Keane picking up his fourth goal of the season. Defenseman Zach FitzGerald fired the puck on net from the left point and Zatkoff made the save. The puck popped free for Keane to slip in five-hole on the netminder for the early 1-0 lead. Center Mario Bliznak picked up an assist on the first goal of the game.
Manchester evened the contest with right wing Ryan Murphy's second goal of the season and second tally in as many games at 15:10 of the first period. Three Monarchs players and two Moose players scrambled for the puck between the hash marks before Murphy retrieved the rubber biscuit and drew it over to the right face-off circle. Murphy wristed a shot between the legs of goaltender Karl Goehring to tie the game. Defenseman Alec Martinez and center Brian Boyle picked up assists on the goal.
Ouellet gave the Moose their one-goal lead back at 19:03 with a power play goal. Krog shot the puck into the chest of Zatkoff. As the netminder went to cover the puck in front of him, Ouellet pulled it back and snapped a wrist shot into the net on the blocker side. Derlago assisted on Ouellet's six goal of the season.
Left wing Scott Parse brought the Monarchs to within one goal at 12:15 of the third period. With a power play ending three-seconds prior to the goal, the Moose could not clear the puck. Right wing Vladimir Dravecky stole the puck in the right face-off circle and found Parse on the inside edge of the left circle for the quick one-timer past Goehring's blocker for his fourth goal of the season.
Zatkoff (0-1-0) took the loss in his AHL debut with 19 saves on 22 shots. Goehring (10-5-0) earned his 10th win of the season with 28 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Manitoba was 1-for-2 with the man advantage.