MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs concluded their regular season on Saturday, and concluded the playoff hopes of a division rival as well.
A night after punching their ticket to the postseason, Manchester warmed up for their hopeful march toward the Kelly Cup with a convincing 5-2 victory over the Maine Mariners.
Tony Cameranesi opened up Manchester’s scoring, finishing up a fast break along the glove side of Maine net-minder Francois Brassard with an unassisted goal 5:29 into the first period.
There the score would remain until a pair of quick Manchester goals just before second intermission.
First, Cam Ward set up shop just outside the crease, poaching a score thanks to a quick pass from Jack Nevins. Only seconds later, David Kolomatis’ blue line blast somehow found its way through Brassard for the Monarchs’ third score.
Jack Nevins added an insurance goal under a minute into the third period, joining Ward with two points on the day.
Pierre Luc-Mercier added an empty-net goal with just over a minute in regulation to conclude the scoreline.
Maine also added late goals from Taylor Cammarata and Ty Ronning, spoiling what would have been Charles Williams’ fourth shutout of the season.
With the win, Manchester (39-29-2-2) ensures that they will finish no lower than third in the ECHL’s North Division, providing them a first-round playoff matchup against the Adirondack Thunder.
Meanwhile, Maine (33-29-2-1) will finish their first regular season eliminated from playoff contention thanks to the loss, as their playoff hopes required a win today and a win tomorrow at home against Newfoundland plus a pair of Brampton losses this weekend as well.