Monarchs clinch playoff berth

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Daniil Miromanov in late March 2019 (promotional photo)

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs found their first win against the Newfoundland Growlers this season, and they couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.

Manchester clinched a trip to the Kelly Cup playoffs on Friday night with their 3-2 shootout victory over the ECHL North Division champions, only the second time Manchester has been able to post points against Newfoundland this year.

After an inconclusive first period, Newfoundland’s Scott Pooley struck first, providing the visitors a lead until Cory Ward’s equalizer just under six minutes later.

Brady Ferguson put Newfoundland back into the lead before the second intermission, but Tim Shoup equalized again 7:53 into the third period to keep Manchester alive.

Neither team could find a goal over the rest of regulation, with overtime not providing an answer either.

Ultimately, it came down to Daniil Miromanov, whose shootout goal provided the difference in the contest.

With the win, Manchester is assured of either third or fourth place in the division upon the regular season’s conclusion, and could even move up to second depending on the results from Adirondack’s final three games.

Elsewhere in the division on Friday night, Reading defeated Adirondack 4-1 to keep their playoff hopes alive, as did Maine with their 4-1 victory over Worcester.

However, both Maine and Reading will need still need help from Brampton, who still holds the final playoff spot in division despite their 1-0 loss to Cincinnati.

The Monarchs will conclude their regular season on Saturday night with a 6 p.m. puck drop against Maine.