MANCHESTER – The Manchester Monarchs continue to struggle in the new year, dropping their fourth straight game and their second overtime game this month, a 2-1 home loss to the Worcester Railers.
After early scores from Manchester’s Spencer Watson and Worcester’s Barry Almeida, the contest entered a state of lethargy for the rest of regulation.
Just under four minutes into overtime, Matt Lane received a pass at the red line from Mike Cornell before taking the puck into the Monarchs zone and shooting a wrister 3:44 into the extra frame to give Worcester their first four-period victory of the season.
The Railers’ win evens back up the season series between the two teams at five wins a piece, with both squads heading back to SNHU Arena on Saturday at 6 p.m. for their last meeting until Feb. 24
With the loss, the Monarchs once seemingly insurmountable lead in the ECHL North Division is still intact, but barely.
At 46 points, the Monarchs are just one point ahead of the Adirondack Thunder, and three points ahead of Wheeling.
In contrast to Manchester, both Adirondack and Wheeling won their games on Friday, and both are in action again on Saturday.
With 35 points, Worcester is now seven points behind Reading for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North with around half of the season complete.