Down To The Final Second
HARTFORD, CT – Center Corey Locke picked up three points including the game-winning goal with one second remaining in overtime as the Hartford Wolf Pack narrowly edged the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, at the XL Center on Sunday afternoon. The Monarchs six-game winning streak came to an end but they still remain undefeated in regulation (seven games) and undefeated at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Manchester (9-2-1-0) continues to lead the Atlantic Division with 19 points. Hartford (6-6-0-0) is tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 12 points.
“Just looking at the big picture, you have to be happy with the weekend,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris on picking up five of a possible six points in three games. “The final goal tonight - that one stung. Every point on the road is important so we’ll take the positive out of this one.”
Locke scored his eighth goal of the season with a split second remaining on the clock in overtime to give the Wolf Pack the win. Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti peppered Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier with shots as the clocked ticked down. After several shots by Sanguinetti, the rebound came to Locke who buried the puck in the net at 4:59 of the overtime.
Hartford capitalized early in the game with two first period goals by defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen and Sanguinetti. Skating on the first power play of the game, Heikkinen scored his third tally of the season at 4:10 of the opening frame. Locke blasted a shot from the right wing half-wall that hit Bernier in the chest and fell to the right of the goaltender. Right wing Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau picked up the rebound and slid it through the crease to Heikkinen who was skating in from the left side. The defenseman tapped the puck into the net with a one-timer to give the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead.
Sanguinetti doubled Hartford’s lead at 7:08 of the first period with his fourth tally of the season. Parenteau slid the puck to Locke behind the Monarchs cage from right to left. Locke quickly skated to the bottom of the left face-off circle and snapped a shot toward Bernier. The puck hovered along the ice and was redirected by Sanguinetti’s stick before crossing the goal line.
The Monarchs bounced back in the second period with goals by defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov and left wing Richard Clune to even the game at 2-2. Voynov’s tally came on the power play at 12:39 of the middle stanza. Center Andrei Loktionov slid the puck to Voynov as he pinched in from the left point. The defenseman fanned on a slap shot from left hash marks and fell to the ice. The loose puck bounced between feet and found its way back to Voynov as he got back up on his skates. He took the puck and wristed it into the top right corner of the net past goaltender Chad Johnson to bring the score to 2-1. Center Gabe Gauthier also picked up an assist on Voynov’s third goal of the season.
Clune evened the game at 2-2 with his first goal of the season at 14:20 of the second period. Defenseman David Kolomatis’ shot from the right wing half-wall bounced off of Johnson’s right pad and onto the ice. Clune was on the left doorstep to flip the puck into the open net. Center Oscar Moller assisted on the tying goal.
Bernier (6-2-0) took his first overtime loss of the season stopping 27-of-30 shots. Johnson (4-3-0) earned his fourth win of the season with 33 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-6 on the power play. Hartford was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The last time the Monarchs lost in overtime was on 4-3 loss to Providence on March 14, 2008…Manchester gave up only their third goal when their opposition has the man advantage…The Monarchs penalty kill is ranked second in the AHL, stopping their opponent 54-of-57 times when their on the power play…Manchester outshot their opponent, 35-30, for only the second time in 12 games this season…Right wing Brandon Segal’s five-game point streak came to an end as Hartford held him off the scoreboard; he collected seven points (1-6=7) during the streak…Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov is on a three-game point streak (2-1=3) and has tallied a goal in his last two games…Center Oscar Moller has four points (1-3=4) in his last five games since returning from a brief stint with the Los Angeles Kings…Left wing Richard Clune scored his first goal of the 2009-10 season…Clune has been sidelined with injuries thus far this season and has played in only three games.
The Monarchs will travel to the DCU Center to play the Worcester Sharks on Friday, November 6. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGAM 900/1250 AM and at www.manchestermonarchs.com.