Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Manchester Snaps Winning streak, cuts Calder Cup Conference Final lead to 2-1

The Manchester Monarchs ended the Hershey Bears 7 game winning streak which goes back to the 1st Round Series Clincher against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night as Manchester was able to just control the Bears which hasn't been done very much in this years playoffs.

Despite going down 2-0 early in the 3rd period which included Alexander Giroux's playoff leading 11th goal to go up 2-0 just 4 minutes into the 3rd period.

However, just a minute and half later the tide began to turn as Manchester Right Winger John Zeiler to make it 2-1. Then the Monarchs were able to control the momentum from the 2nd period on. But until Gabe Gauthier scored nearly midway through the 2nd period, it was looking like that Michal Neuvirth was having the game of his life as he was able to stop 35 of 37 shots through regulation.

Justin Azevedo was the hero of the game and was named the game's first star with his OT Winner just 2:45 into the extra period as this series saw the 2nd straight game in OT in this series. Game 4 will be back in Manchester, New Hampshire tonight as the Monarchs will look to tie this series and force the Eastern Conference Final to at-least comeback for a game 6 later in the series.

From the American Hockey League Website: http://theahl.com

Trailing 2-0 in the series and 2-0 in the game, Manchester responded with three straight goals to take a 3-2 win over Hershey in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday at Verizon Wireless Arena.

Justin Azevedo notched the game-winner just 2:43 into the extra session, sending the Monarchs to their first-ever victory in the Conference Finals round after losing six straight games to the Bears.

With the victory, the Monarchs cut the series deficit to 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Tuesday Night. Mondays victory also guarantees that the series will extend to Game 5 in Manchester on Thursday Night.

Alexander Giroux put Hershey on top with a power play goal 17:26 into the first period, and after a scoreless second, Mathieu Perreault extended the Bears edge 2-0 at 3:55 of the third frame. Chris Bourque assisted on both markers to take over the league with 20 points (6G 14A) in 12 postseason contests.

But staring in the face of a 3-0 daunting series deficit, Manchester battled back. John Zeiler put the home team on the board at 5:44 of the third, and Gabe Gauthier followed with the equalizer only 1:38 later.

Gauthier has now netted a goal in four straight games (5G) and six of his last seven contests (7G 1A). The teams were deadlocked at 2-2 until Azevedo's game winner early in the overtime period, which was assisted by D.J. King.

Manchester improved to 4-1 in overtime this postseason while handling the Bears their first OT loss after five straight victories. Hershey's seven game winning streak overall also came to an end, as the Bears fell for the first time since a 4-1 loss to Bridgeport on April 18 in Game 4 of the East Division Semifinal series.

Manchester goalie Jonathan Bernier made 23 saves between the pipes and improved to a perfect 9-0 postseason when he allows two or fewer goals in a game.

Hershey Bears Lead Series 2-1

Game Boxscore

Hershey Bears 2 Manchester Monarchs 3 (OT) (1-0, 0-0, 1-2, 0-1)

1-0 HER: Alexander Giroux (PP) (Bourque, Aucoin) 17:26 1st

2-0 HER: Mathieu Perreault (Bourque, Beagle) 3:55 3rd

2-1 MAN: John Zeiler (Muzzin) 5:44 3rd

2-2 MAN: Gabe Gauthier (Loktionov, Hickney) 7:22 3rd

2-3 MAN: Justin Azevedo (King) 2:43 OT

Game Stats

SOG: HER 25 MAN 40

PP: HER 1/5 MAN 0/7

PIM: HER 26 Minutes on 9 Penalties MAN 12 Minutes on 6 Penalties

Goalies: HER Michal Neuvirth 37 SVS on 40 Shots MAN Jonathan Bernier 23 SVS on 25 Shots

ATT: 2372

3rd Star: Chris Bouruqe (HER)

2nd Star: Andrei Loktionov (MAN)

1st Star: Justin Azevedo (MAN)

Series Schedule

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

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

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

5/18, Game 4: Hershey Bears VS. Manchester Monarchs 7:00 PM EDT

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

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

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

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