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Monarchs open season with shootout loss

The Manchester Monarchs fell by a 3-2 score in a shootout to the host Springfield Falcons in the AHL opener for both teams Saturday night.

Broc Little beat Manchester goalie Martin Jones with a high backhander in the fourth round of the shootout and Falcons goalie Jeremy Smith was perfect, stopping all five Manchester shooters to earn the win. The Falcons had a goal waved off in OT when it was ruled that Jones had tied the puck up prior to it being knocked into the net.

Jordan Weal gave Manchester a 1-0 lead at 5:58 of the first period. Weal converted a rebound chance off a Brandon Kozun shot for the first goal of the season.

Darryl Boyce tied the game for Springfield at 8:23, leaving the game knotted at 1-1 after one.

Tyler Toffoli gave Manchester a 2-1 lead at the 6:13 mark of the second period, but once again the advantage was short-lived as the Falcons tied the game on a goal from Michael Chaput 61 seconds later.

The teams skated a scoreless third period.

The Monarchs will play the Portland Pirates in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday in a game that was moved from a February date.

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