Monarchs return to MHT even with Adirondack

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Evan Cowley on May 3, 2018 (credit – Andrew Camp)

GLENS FALLS, NY – The Manchester Monarchs are finally heading back home and they have a chance to prevent a return trip to upstate New York this season.

On this date in 1986, the building now known as Cool Insuring Arena saw Mike Tyson earn his 20th career victory. Now, 31 years later, the Manchester Monarchs earned a victory in the same building, defeating the Adirondack Thunder, 3-0.

Once again, the Monarchs had a significant shots-on-goal advantage over Adirondack, but this time they made those opportunities count, beginning with Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman’s third goal of the playoffs.

LaVallee-Smotherman’s goal, occurring at 5:23 in the first period, was a redirected tap-in from near the edge of the left post. It came courtesy of passes from Matt Leitner and Zac Lynch, and was accompanied by two other goals converted near the crease.

The first one of those insurance goals came at 13:11 in the second period, when LaVallee-Smotherman sent a cross-ice pass to Lynch along the blue line, then transferred to Leitner for another short-range tap-in.

Colton Saucerman provided the other goal, a point-blank wrister with just under nine minutes left in the contest.

Evan Cowley stopped 18 Adirondack shots in what was the first playoff start of his professional career and consequentially, the first third shutout this season with the Monarchs.

Cowley also made appearances in the first two games of the series, coming in to relieve Charles Williams.

On Sunday, the Monarchs will play their first game at SNHU Arena in 22 days, hosting Game 5 at 6 p.m.

Game 6 will occur at SNHU Arena on May 7 at 7 p.m., with the series heading back to Glens Falls on Wednesday, May 9 if needed for a 7 p.m. Game 7.

The series winner will face either the Florida Everblades or the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals, with the Everblades currently leading that series three games to none.