Monarchs advance after seven-goal effort

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Adirondack’s James Henry and Manchester’s Sam Kurker (credit – Andrew Sylvia)

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester Monarchs couldn’t sweep the Adirondack Thunder on Friday night, but they did finally advance on Saturday, taking Game 5 of the Kelly Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals by a score of 7-1.

Manchester came close throughout the first period, but couldn’t get on the board until Pierre-Luc Mercier’s point-blank backhand found its way to the back of the net just moments before the first intermission.

Mike Szmatula tied things up just over nine minutes into the second period on a mad dash for the crease, couldn’t take the lead as the Monarchs continued to grow their shot lead from the first frame.

Instead, it was the Monarchs that retook the lead thanks to a power-play goal from Kevin Dufour, his fourth of the playoffs.

Manchester proceeded to score on the next four-man advantages, beginning with a shorthanded goal by Michael Doherty on Stefan Falkowsky’s holding minor, followed by power-play goals by Pavel Jenys and Sam Kurker.

Adirondack pulled goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos with just over nine minutes left in regulation. However, they could not capitalize, with Doherty adding another shorthanded goal into the empty net about a minute later to seal the victory.

Dufour added another goal with six minutes to play.