Quest for the Calder Cup
MANCHESTER, NH – Jordan Weal and Brian O’Neill combined for four goals in the Monarchs’ 5-2 win over the Pirates in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Thursday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Monarchs (1-0) out shot Portland (0-1) 23 to 16 in the first game of the best-of-five series.
“You hope [Weal and O’Neill] step up their game, and they did,” Head Coach Mike Stothers said. “We’re not going to rely on two guys, but it was nice to see they got on the board in the first game.”
Weal opened the scoring with his first career playoff goal at 2:07 in the first period when he beat Mike McKenna glove side.
Portland answered back with a power-play goal from Henrik Samuelsson at 3:11 in the first.
O’Neill regained the lead for the Monarchs at 10:27 in the first. Michael Mersch screened Andrew Bodnarchuk’s shot from the point and passed to O’Neill where he beat McKenna stick side.
Weal extended the lead to 3-1, scoring a power-play goal with a tip off Vincent LoVerde’s shot at 11:27 in the second period.
O’Neill netted his second of the night at 17:30 in the second period on a rebound from LoVerde’s shot.
LoVerde scored a shorthanded empty-net goal from the Monarchs’ goal line at 17:56 in the third.
Jordan Szwarz scored a power-play goal at 19:08 in the third to make it 5-2.
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals will be on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
- When Jordan Weal scored his second goal of the game, he became the first Monarchs player to score multiple goals in a playoff game since Linden Vey on May 4, 2013 against SPR in the first round.
- Weal and Brian O’Neill became the first pair of Manchester teammates to tally multiple goals in the same playoff game since Erik Condra and Ryan Keller on April 23, 2011 against BNG in the first round.
- Portland and Manchester both scored on their first shot on the game.
- Weal’s two points tonight give him his second multi-point playoff game (also, May 2, 2014 at NOR).
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