GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Manchester Monarchs couldn’t hold a late third period lead, and fell to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in overtime, 4-3, Thursday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The Monarchs (29-12-5-4) dropped their lone matchup with the Swamp Rabbits (27-18-4-1) this season, and will only see Greenville if both teams make the Eastern Conference Finals.
Greenville opened the scoring early when Ahti Oksanen scored just 31 seconds into the game. Oksanen took a cross-ice pass from Michael Joly along the blueline and sent a one-timer from the right point that beat the glove of Monarchs goaltender, Sam Brittain, to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
The Monarchs tied the game when Ashton Rome scored his 7th goal of the season at 14:26 of the second period. Rome brought the puck into the offensive-zone after a Greenville turnover at the red line, walked to the slot and fired a wrister past the glove of Swamp Rabbits goaltender, Mackenzie Skapski, to tie the game, 1-1.
The Swamp Rabbits regained the lead when Joly scored his 15th goal of the season at 17:59 of the middle frame. Tristan King set Joly up with a drop pass from his knees in the slot, where Joly fired a slap shot over the glove of Brittain, to make the score, 2-1, Greenville.
Manchester evened the score again when Zac Lynch scored while on a 5-on-3 power play for his 13th goal of the season. Matt Leitner sent a cross-slot pass to Lynch from the left of the Greenville cage, where Lynch one-timed a snap shot into the open cage to tie the game, 2-2, at 19:55 of the second period.
The Monarchs took their first lead of the game when Justin Agosta scored his 7th goal of the season at 15:10 of the third period. Agosta skated the puck to the slot, stopped on a dime and sent a wrister past the blocker of Skapski, to give the Monarchs a 3-2 advantage.
Greenville tied the game on the power play at 18:28 when Angelo Miceli notched his 11th goal of the season. Miceli sent a one-timer from the right dot past Brittain’s glove while skating 6-on-4 with Skapski pulled, to send the game into overtime tied at 3-3.
The Swamp Rabbits ended the game on the second goal of the game by Miceli at 2:59 of the overtime period. Joe Houk drove the net and Brittain made the initial save, but Miceli found the loose puck to the left of the cage and with Brittain prone on his stomach, sent the puck into the yawning cage to end the game.
The Monarchs return to the ice Friday, Feb. 17 (7 p.m.), when they visit the South Carolina Stingrays for the first of two games over the weekend.
Tyler Elbrecht made his Monarchs debut
Monarchs are now 1-4-0-0 when heading to the 3rd period tied
Matt Leitner recorded the 75th assist of his career
Teddy Doherty recorded the 25th point of his career
Photo Credit: Rich Tilton
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