Second close loss in two days puts Monarchs in 0-2 playoff hole
Cody Bass knows something about winning a Calder Cup. He's also starting to be a pain in the neck for the Manchester Monarchs.
For the second straight day, Bass scored the game-winning goal, Sunday night at the 18:44 mark of the first overtime to lift the Springfield Falcons to a 3-2 American Hockey League playoff victory over the Manchester Monarchs before 2,369 fans at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
The Falcons lead the best-of-five Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, 2-0. Game 3 will be played at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Thursday at 7 p.m.
"The team battled extremely hard and deserved a better fate," said Monarchs coach Mark Morris. "The ice was tilted toward the penalty box and we endured lots and lots of shorthanded situations. This one is a tough pill to swallow. We thoroughly outplayed them in the overtime, out-shooting them and out-chancing them. We had a couple near misses and in the end another penalty ultimately cost us dearly. It's hard to find fault in the effort, but we'll need to find some scoring touch and stay out of the box."
On Saturday, Bass scored the game-winner at the 10:36 mark of the first overtime. Bass, selected by Ottawa in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2005 draft, was re-signed last April by Columbus to a one-year NHL contract.
During the 2010-11 season, he served as an assistant captain and helped lead the Binghamton Senators to a Calder Cup championship.
Thanks to his OT heroics Saturday and Sunday, he now has the Monarchs on the brink of elimination.
Manchester led 2-1 behind a first-period power-play goal by defenseman Nick Deslauriers and a second-period tally at the 15:52 mark from winger Anthony Stewart.
But Springfield, which had eight power-play chances in the game, finally cashed in on its sixth try when David Kolomatis went off for holding at 5:22 of the third period. Defenseman David Savard beat Manchester Monarchs goalie Martin Jones at the 7:11 mark to tie the game.
Springfield scored moments later but after review, the goal was nullified because it was ruled the puck was kicked into the net.
The Falcons were on the power play in overtime when Kolomatis was whistled for tripping at 16:39. Five seconds after his penalty expired, Bass pulled the trigger for the game winner. Right wing Ryan Russell played the puck to left wing Jonathan Audy-Marchessault at the right point. Audy-Marchessault took a shot that produced a rebound in front of the net. Bass grabbed the rebound and buried it.
Manchester out-shot Springfield 43-38, but Falcons' goalie Curtis McElhinney was up to the task with 41 saves.
Jones had 35 saves in the loss.
The Monarchs also coughed up a shorthanded goal to Trent Vogelhuber just 2:49 into the game.