MANCHESTER, N.H. – The red-hot Worcester Railers made the already complicated ECHL North Division standings even more complicated on Friday night, defeating the Manchester Monarchs, 5-2.
After a scoreless first period, Manchester’s Kevin Dufour managed to slip the puck between the legs of Worcester goaltender Mitch Gillam for the game’s first goal 3:30 into the second period.
However, Worcester responded with four unanswered goals, including a pair of scores only 25 seconds apart.
Dufour wristed another goal just past the third period’s halfway point, but the Monarchs managed just eight other shots in the final frame, with Bo Brauer adding his second goal for the Railers with 96 seconds left in the contest.
Brauer’s goal came with an empty net, with Manchester goaltender Charles Williams heading to the bench with just under four minutes left in regulation. Williams’ departure was the first time the rink saw something other than 5-on-5 since Matt Iacopelli went to the box 57 seconds into the contest.
With the result, Manchester (32-26-2-2) is now just one point ahead of Worcester and two points ahead of Brampton for the final North Division playoff berth.
The Monarchs now have just ten games left in the regular season, with the next one coming on Sunday as the second part of this weekend’s home-and-home series against Worcester.