SAINT JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador – The Manchester Monarchs saw their 2018-’19 season end with a 5-1 loss to the Newfoundland Growlers on Monday night, falling 4 games to 2 in their Best-of-seven ECHL Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Manchester’s only goal, a third-period grind-it-out goal by Tony Cameranesi, came well after any drama had drained from the contest.
Zach O’Brien opened scoring with a pair of goals in the first, beginning 4:52 into the opening period and followed by another 17:20 into the frame. Both goals were point-blank efforts, the first snuck past the left leg of Manchester goaltender Charles Williams and the second tipped in off a Garrett Johnson blue-line shot.
Matt Bradley added another goal just seconds before the first intermission, but the North Division Champions were not done, with Johnston finding the back of the next 5:14 into the second period.
O’Brien made it a hat trick 7:10 into the second, forcing Williams out of the contest and giving Monarchs backup goaltender Cole Kehler his first action of the playoffs.
Manchester outshot Newfoundland 21-5 in the final period, but Newfoundland netminder Michael Garteig did not falter outside of Cameranesi’s goal, finishing with 36 saves on the night. That figure now puts him over 400 saves so far in the ECHL playoffs, second only to Tulsa’s Devin Williams.
The Growlers now face the Florida Everblades for a chance to reach the Kelly Cup Finals, with Florida defeating the Orlando Solar Bears earlier this week.