MANCHESTER, NH – On Sunday, the Manchester Monarchs climbed to .500 this season in games needing more than three periods, defeating the Norfolk Admirals in overtime, 4-3.
Manchester’s first period struggles continued, as the Admirals struck first with early goals from Michael Young and Tommy Schutt.
Spencer Watson got one back for the Monarchs just seconds after Schutt’s goal, but neither team could add a goal until Dominic Alberga capitalized on a rebound from Brodie Dupont’s slapshot, making the game 3-1 in the first minute of the second period.
The Monarchs answered quickly again, this time thanks to Colton Saucerman’s wrister that made its way past the stick side of Norfolk goaltender Jamie Murray.
Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman tied up the contest and broke his eight-game scoreless streak in the process, a breakaway backhander over Murray’s glove.
Manchester would almost double Norfolk’s shot total in the third period. However, they couldn’t break through until Cory Ward’s seventh goal of the season arrived 30 seconds into the overtime period, sealing the Monarchs’ victory.
That makes two goals in the two games since Ward’s return from Ontario.
The Monarchs need a combination of five wins or Worcester losses to clinch a playoff berth, both teams are back on the ice on Friday, with Manchester hosting Utah at 7 p.m.
Manchester’s win against Norfolk on Sunday maintained their two-point lead atop the ECHL North Division over Adirondack, who won against Worcester later in the day.
That lead will hold until Friday at the very earliest, with Adirondack returning home to face Fort Wayne.