Monarchs take a 2-0 lead over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in semifinals
MANCHESTER, NH – Jordan Weal, Brian O’Neill and Michael Mersch combined for nine points in a 5-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on May 7 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The win gave the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
“I was really pleased with the way we came out early,” Head Coach Mike Stothers said. “We looked like we had some energy which was important. I like the approach and we’ve stayed pretty focused on what we need to do.”
Weal (2 goals, assist) scored his team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the playoffs. He leads all scorers in the AHL postseason with 12 points this year (7 goals, 5 assists).
The Monarchs (5-2) took a 2-0 advantage for the second straight playoff series.
O’Neill opened the scoring on a wrist shot that beat Matt Murray high glove side at 9:28 of the first period to give the Monarchs the 1-0 lead.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton evened up the score at 12:28 in the second on a power-play goal from Conor Sheary. The play was originally ruled no goal, but was reversed after review.
Justin Auger tallied the first playoff goal of his career ten seconds later at 12:38 in the second period to give the Monarchs a 2-1 lead.
The Penguins tied the score again just 14 seconds after Auger’s strike when Dominik Uher scored at 12:52 in the middle period.
Weal reclaimed the lead again for the Monarchs at 17:03 in the second period on a feed from O’Neill and buried it.
Weal netted his second goals of the night, this time on the power play at 5:24 the of the third period to make the score 4-2.
O’Neill scored the empty netter at 17:57 of the third period to seal the win for the Monarchs, 5-2.
Game 3 will be on Saturday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 7:05.
- Weal moved into a tie for third place on the Monarchs’ all-time points list in the playoffs with 17 career points (7 goals, 10 assists). He is eight points shy of Bud Holloway (25 points) for the most playoff points in club history.
- David Van der Gulik picked up an assist on O’Neill’s second goal of the night, his second assist in as many games. The Monarchs are 3-0 with Van der Gulik in the lineup since the start of the playoffs.
- Michael Mersch (3 assists) collected his third three-point game of the postseason. He now has 11 points since the start of the playoffs (3 goals, 8 assists), the most points by a Monarchs rookie in a single postseason since Peter Harrold also had 11 points during the 2007 playoffs.
- Brian O’Neill (2 goals, assist) had a playoff-best three points. He has at least one point in five of seven games this postseason with three multi-point games in that time.
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