MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs could not hold a third period lead, and fell to the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 5, 3-1, Saturday night at SNHU Arena.
The Monarchs (10-7) now trail the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals, 3-2, to the Stingrays (11-5).
Manchester opened the scoring at 11:16 of the first period when Matt Leitner scored his 7th goal of the post-season just eight seconds into the 3rd Monarchs power play of the game. Leitner was camped in the slot and tipped a slap-pass from the left point off the stick of Colton Saucerman past Stingrays goaltender, Parker Milner, to put the Monarchs up, 1-0.
South Carolina tied the game early in the third period when Steven McParland scored his 4th goal of the playoffs at 3:56 of the third period. McParland took a shot from the left point that hit a body in front and beat Monarchs goaltender, Sam Brittain, to even the score, 1-1.
The Stingrays took their first lead of the night when Olivier Archambault scored his 4th goal of the post-season at 6:37 while on the power play. Archambault took a perfect cross-crease pass from McParland and lifted the puck over the out-stretched glove of Brittain to put South Carolina up, 2-1.
South Carolina added to their lead and ended the scoring at 16:37 of the third period when Kelly Zajac netted his 5th goal of the playoffs. Zajac took a perfect pass from Archambault on a 2-on-1, put a forehand-to-backhand move on Brittain and tucked the puck past the left leg of Brittain to put the Stingrays up, 3-1.
The Monarchs return to the ice Monday, May 22 (7 p.m.) when they host the South Carolina Stingrays for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at SNHU Arena.
- Matt Leitner recorded the 20th point of his playoff career
- South Carolina had a goal waived-off at 4:06 of the 2nd period