Londonderry's O'Connor notches first goal for red-hot Monarchs in win
MANCHESTER - The Manchester Monarchs needed overtime to grab their fifth victory in their last six games with a 3-2 victory against Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night.
Manchester (27-24-3-3) is third in the Atlantic Division with 60 points. Bridgeport (23-24-5-4) is fourth in the Northeast Division with 55 points.
Center Jordan Weal scored the game-winning goal for the Monarchs at 2:36 of overtime. Center Andy Andreoff played puck from right point to Weal, who skated in and lifted a backhand top-shelf on the right doorstep for the goal. Defenseman Vincent LoVerde also recorded an assist on Weal's ninth goal of the season.
The Monarchs got the opening goal from forward Ian O'Connor, of Londonderry, at 2:44 of the second period, as he squeezed a backhand between the pads of Bridgeport goalie Rick DiPietro.
Mike Halmo tied the game for the Sound Tigers at 3:21 of the third period, tipping Matt Donovan slap shot from the left point past Monarchs goalie Martin Jones.
The Monarchs regained the lead, 2-1, on a goal by left wing Colton Yellow Horn at 12:49. Yellow Horn took Brandon Kozun's feed, skated toward the net and made a nifty move to get around a Sound Tigers defenseman and sneaked a wrist shot past DiPietro low on the blocker side for his fourth goal of the season.
Nino Niederreiter tied the game again for the Sound Tigers at 14:38. Kirill Kabanov found Niederreiter in the slot, where he wristed a quick shot past Jones for his 23rd goal of the season.
Jones (17-19-3) earned his 17th victory of the season stopping 32-of-34 shots. DiPietro (1-2-0) took his second loss of the season making 24 saves on 27 shots.
The Monarchs travel to Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday for a VIP Cup match-up with the Portland Pirates at 7 p.m