ST. JOHNS, Newfoundland and Labrador – For a time, it looked like a redux of last week, but ultimately it turned out to be an echo of the past few months.
Like many times during the regular season, the Manchester Monarchs came close to defeating the Newfoundland Growlers on Saturday night. However, late goals proved to be the difference in this ECHL Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup, giving Newfoundland a 4-2 win.
Each team took a goal in the first period, with Craig Wyszomirski’s wrister putting the Monarchs ahead just over five minutes into the contest, with Newfoundland’s Josh Kestner replying approximately three minutes later.
After a scoreless second period, the two teams traded goals again in the third, with Brady Ferguson giving Newfoundland a lead at 12:47 followed by Pavel Jenys’ deflection of Chris Carisle’s shot at 13:42.
Zach O’Brien’s goal with 91 seconds left provided the hosts the lead once and for all, taking the puck from an offensive zone faceoff win and shooting it over the blocker of Monarchs goaltender Charles Williams.
Derian Plouffe added an empty-netter with 25 seconds left in regulation to seal the victory.
Now tied at one game apiece, the series shifts back to New Hampshire with a 7 p.m. Game 3 start on Tuesday. Manchester plays again on Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. as well, with Friday’s game heading to the Rinks at Exeter due to a scheduling conflict at SNHU Arena.
If needed, the series will head back to Newfoundland for games on Monday and possibly Tuesday, with both of those games also beginning at 7 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.