MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs fell to the South Carolina Stingrays, 4-3, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night at SNHU Arena, and ended their bid for the Kelly Cup.
The Monarchs (11-8) dropped three out of the last four games to the Stingrays (12-6) at SNHU Arena.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 4:18 of the first period when Zac Lynch netted his 8th goal of the playoffs. From the Monarchs zone, Matt Leitner hit Lynch with a pass as he skated down the right-wing boards. Lynch brought the puck to the slot where he deked Stingrays goaltender Parker Milner on a backhand-to-forehand move, and slid the puck past Milner’s glove to give the Monarchs the early 1-0 lead.
The Stingrays answered back at 7:21 of the first period with a goal from Rob Flick to tie the game, 1-1. Marcus Perrier took a shot from the left point and Flick found the rebound at the top of Monarchs goaltender Sam Brittain’s crease, and flipped the puck over Brittain’s glove for his 11th tally of the playoffs.
Colton Saucerman gave the Monarchs the lead back at 14:20 in the first period with a power-play goal, his 2nd goal of the playoffs. Lynch slid the puck across the blue line and found Saucerman at the top of the left-wing circle where he sent a one-timer past Milner’s blocker to make it a 2-1 game.
The Stingrays evened the game with a goal from Domenic Monardo at 14:31 in the second period. Andrew Cherniwchan took the initial shot from the high slot that was blocked, but the puck stayed in the slot and Monardo followed up with a slapper past Brittain’s blocker for his 6th goal of the playoffs.
The Stingrays took a 3-2 lead at 15:41 of the second when Olivier Archambault scored his 6th goal of the playoffs. Kelly Zajac found Archambault inside the left-wing circle where he skated in on Brittain, shifted to his backhand and put a low shot past Brittain’s skate.
The Monarchs tied the game at 3:27 of the third period with a goal from Ashton Rome, his 9th goal of the playoffs. Tyler Sikura hit Rome with a long pass through the neutral-zone where he skated to the slot and fired a wrister past Milner’s glove to make the score, 3-3
The Stingrays took the lead for good when Archambault scored his 2nd goal of the night at 8:56 of the third period. Archambault deflected a shot from Joey Leach from the right point past Brittain’s blocker for his 7th tally of the playoffs.
The Monarchs pulled Brittain with 1:33 remaining in the game and despite hitting the post, could not beat Milner to prolong the game.
- Matt Leitner finished the playoffs on a three-game point streak
- Manchester fell to 0-3 in one-goal games at SNHU Arena in the post-season
- The Monarchs are now 0-3 in Game 7s in franchise history