Monarchs rally, but fall to Providence in shootout
MANCHESTER - The Manchester Monarchs scored three goals in the third period to force overtime but fell short in a shootout to lose a 5-4 heartbreaker to Providence in front of an announced crowd of 7,817 at Verizon Wireless Arena for "Pink in the Rink" Tuesday night.
The Monarchs fell to 21-22-5, picking up a point for the first time in six games after losing five in a row. Providence improved to 27-17-3. Manchester will host St. John's Friday and Saturday.
In the shootout, Manchester appeared poised to win the game after Jordan Weal, Tyler Toffoli and Colton Yellow Horn put the Monarchs up 3-1 through three rounds. But Craig Cunningham and Carter Camper scored on Martin Jones to tie it and force extra frames.
Brandon Kozun scored to make it 4-3, but Trent Whitfield and Torey Krug scored for Providence while Andy Andreoff and Robbie Czarnik couldn't tally for Manchester and the annual breast cancer awareness night ended with the black and gold trumping the pink.
"It would have been a good win. We got a lot out of our guys in the third period," Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. "We did all we could from a scoring aspect in the shootout. We just needed a save."
Trailing 4-1 in the third period, Manchester started its comeback bid with a goal at 4:55 on the power play. Weal led the rush into the zone on the left wing, sending a pass to Yellow Horn in the slot, who then fed Kozun for a shot past Niklas Svedberg from the right side.
The Monarchs rode that momentum swing, keeping pressure on and scoring at 5:44 to cut the lead to one goal. Andreoff passed to David Meckler in the slot, but Meckler fanned as he was knocked down. The puck slid across to defenseman Andrew Campbell, who beat Svedberg with a slap shot from the left circle for his first goal of the season.
The Monarchs had a would-be tying goal waved off with 3:57 remaining due to goaltender interference, but knotted the game at 4-4 shortly afterwards anyway. Tanner Pearson ripped a wrist shot over the glove of Svedberg at 16:46 to tie the game and force overtime.
"It's pretty somber," Campbell said of the Monarchs' mood. "When you battle back and play that well in the third and put as much effort into it as we did, to come up short in the shootout is disappointing."
Already on top 1-0, the Bruins extended to a 3-0 lead with goals at 4:06 and 8:14 of the second period. Ryan Spooner made it 2-0, one-timing a backhand pass from Jamie Tardif on the right side. Tardif struck for the third tally, batting his own rebound out of the air past Jones.
The Monarchs tried to climb back into the game, making it 3-1 on rookie Yellow Horn's first AHL goal in his second game. Weal's shot was stopped by Svedberg and Yellow Horn banged the rebound home from the left post at 12:20.
But Providence scored just 27 seconds later to push the lead back to three at 4-1. Jones slid to his left off an initial save but Christian Hanson fed Graham Mink on the left for a one-timer into the open cage.
The Monarchs thought they had scored at the end of the second period during the power play when the red light went on after a shot off the crossbar, but the officials deliberated and ruled it was not a goal.
Providence led 1-0 after one period on a goal from defenseman Matt Bartkowski at 6:18. Weal left a backhand pass for no one in the slot and Bartkowski swooped in, picked up the loose puck and cut to the left circle before snapping a wrist shot high past Jones' glove.
The game opened with some fireworks as Andreoff dropped the gloves with Bruins tough guy Bobby Robins. The fight was an epic battle, lasting for several minutes. It was a draw until late when Robins landed a couple to Andreoff's cheek.