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NORWALK -- The Connecticut Oilers believe they can compete with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, who have been the gold standard for junior hockey in New England with four national championships in the last eight years.
On Sunday, the Oilers played New Hampshire even for 40 minutes, but Patrick Bartolomucci and John Kowalewski scored in the third period to lift the Junior Monarchs to a 4-2 victory at the SoNo Ice House.
The Oilers (3-2) weren't disappointed with their overall effort as they out-shot the Junior Monarchs (4-1) by a 40-23 margin.
Simon Leiva was strong in goal for the winners with 38 saves and blanked Connecticut over the final two periods when he faced 24 shots.
"We out-shot them, but just couldn't finish," said Lucas Bombardier, who scored one of the Oilers' two goals in the first period on the power play. "We have to work on the rebounds."
The Oilers missed a chance for a weekend sweep as they posted a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Little Flyers on Saturday in their home opener.
Darien's Sebastian Foster tied it with 3:33 left in the third period and Jim Buckingham won it with his second goal of the game and fifth of the season 3:18 into overtime.