POST GAME: Monarchs 4, Falcons 3 (SO)

Falcons rally late with a goal from Cam Atkinson, but fall in the shootout in their first game back from the road

Saturday, 11.24.2012 / 9:42 PM
Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

MANCHESTER MONARCHS (9-6-2) 4, SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (10-2-4) 3 -- SHOOTOUT

MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA

Attendance: 4,165

THE RUNDOWN

If there's anything to take away from the Falcons' second loss in as many nights, they are picking up points in games that they aren't playing their best.

Last night in Portland, they built a 4-1 lead only to see the Pirates score four unanswered goals and take the game to overtime. Oliver Ekman-Larsson ended the game within seconds, meaning the Falcons would split their four-game road trip (2-1-1) and come back to home ice with a chance to get back on track.

Ryan Johansen opened the scoring just over minutes into the game with a neatly-executed power play goal, but Manchester scored the next three goals and led 3-1 after the first period. The Falcons would dent the Monarchs for two more -- including the equalizer from Cam Atkinson with 6:48 to play -- but Manchester emerged with a 4-3 shootout win at MassMutual Center.

Based on the way they played in the final two periods, one could surmise this was a game the Falcons should have won. Curtis McElhinney went right back between the pipes after a rough night in Portland, and after a rocky first period, rebounded with a rock-solid final 40 minutes to give Springfield a chance.

Jake Hansen might have been the firestarter tonight, scoring his first professional goal in the second period to draw Springfield within one. The goal really seemed to ignite the Falcons bench, and they followed up the goal with a strong end to the second period and it carried over to the third.

After Atkinson rifled in the tying goal, Springfield had a handful of chances to forge ahead. Peter Mannino made some solid stops in the Manchester net, highlighting his night with a dazzling glove stop on Matt Calvert in the shootout.

PIVOTAL MOMENT

The most impactful moment(s) in this game came just after the Falcons tied it up. They had all the momentum and had the Monarchs hemmed inside their own zone, but were unable to crack Mannino for a fourth tally. Manchester had some dominant shifts in overtime and made the most of their chances in the shootout, where captain Marc-Andre Cliche scored the game-deciding goal.

THREE STARS

1. Marc-Andre Cliche (MCH) -- GWG in shootout

2. Cam Atkinson (SPR) -- goal

3. Jake Hansen (SPR) -- goal

UP NEXT

vs. Connecticut Whale

MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA

Sunday, 3 p.m.

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