Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jonathan Bernier edges Neuvirth in Goaltenders Duel

Game 4 in Manchester, New Hampshire saw a goaltenders duel as Jonathan Bernier and Michal Neuvirth made 43 of 44 saves combined as Bernier was just a little bit better as Dwight Kings scored the game's only goal midway through the game to get this series tied at 2-2 after losing the first 2 games in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Game 5 on Saturday will be huge as Manchester will look to sweep the 3 home games and have a shot of knocking out the defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears. After Game 5 on Thrusday, the series will return to Hershey on Saturday for game 6, then if needed a Game 7 would be on Sunday Night to determine the AHL Eastern Conference Champions and who will play for the AHL Calder Cup Championship either against Hamilton or Texas.

Game 3 of the Texas Stars VS. Hamilton Bulldogs will be tonight from the Cedar Park Center in Austin where Texas needs to get a win to at-least realistically keep their hopes alive of winning the series and advancing to the Calder Cup Championship in their teams first year.

From the American Hockey League Website:

In Manchester, New Hampshire: Baz Bastien Award Winner Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves for the AHL Leading third shutout of the post-season as Manchester evened up the Eastern Conference Final by eaking out a 1-0 win over Hershey in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

The Monarchs, who dropped the first 2 contests on the road, have recovered with a pair of home-ice victories to tie up this best-of-7 at two games apiece heading into Game 5 in Manchester on Thursday Night.

The series is now guaranteed in return to Giant Center in Hershey for Game 6 on Saturday. If needed, Game 7 would be on Sunday Night in Hershey as well.

Rookie Dwight King notched the only goal of this one for the Monarchs at 9:11 of the 2nd period, with Bud Halloway and Andrei Loktionov picked up assists.

Holloway, Manchesters leading postseason score with 12 points (6G 6A) in 14 games had been scoreless through the first three games of this series before earning his helper in Game 4. Loktionov, meanwhile, now shows a point in four of his last five games (1G 3A).

The Bears, who averaged league-high total of 4.08 Goals per game and 34.17 Shots per game entering Tuesday, managed just 5 shots in the first period, six in the 2nd period, and seven in the 3rd period.

Hershey suffered its first shutout since a 5-0 loss at W-B/Scranton on 2/13, and not including shutouts, the Bears have now lossed consecutive games for the first time since falling to W-B/Scranton and Binghamton on 10/23-24.

Hershey goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 of 26 shots in the losing effort on Tuesday.

Manchester secured its 1-0 victory of the postseason, following a win over Worcester by that score in Game 5 of the Division Finals on May 5.

Series Tied 2-2

Game Boxscore

Hershey Bears 0 Manchester Monarchs 1 (0-0, 0-1, 0-0)

0-1 MAN: Dwight King (Holloway, Loktionov) 9:11 2nd

Game Stats

SOG: HER 18 MAN 26

PP: HER 0/3 MAN 0/5

PIM: HER 15 Minutes on 6 Penalties MAN 11 Minutes on 4 Penalties

Goalies: HER Michal Neuvirth 25 SVS on 26 Shots HER Jonathan Bernier 18 SVS on 18 Shots

ATT: 2386

3rd Star: Michal Neuvirth (HER)

2nd Star: Jonathan Bernier (MAN)

1st Star: Dwight King (MAN)

Series Schedule

Game 1, 5/12: Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 4 (0-2, 0-1, 2-1)

Game 2, 5/15: Manchester Monarchs 2 Hershey Bears 3 (OT) (1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)

Game 3, 5/17: Hershey Bears 2 Manchester Monarchs 3 (OT) (1-0, 0-0, 1-2, 0-1)

Game 4, 5/18: Hershey Bears 0 Manchester Monarchs 1 (0-0, 0-1, 0-0)

Game 5, 5/20: Hershey Bears VS. Manchester Monarchs 7:00 PM EDT

Game 6, 5/22: Manchester Monarchs VS. Hershey Bears 7:00 PM EDT

Game 7, 5/23: Manchester Monarchs VS. Hershey Bears 5:00 PM EDT*

*If Necessary

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