Holloway Leads Monarchs to Win
|Bud Holloway scored the game winner in the third period to give the Monarchs a 1-0 series lead.
“I thought we played a gutsy game,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Friday’s game one win over Portland. “We had a little tough luck with the puck going off our guy’s skate for the Pirates goal but we continued to battle. We had big efforts from (Bud) Holloway, (John) Zeiler, (Drew) Bagnall and (Joe) Piskula. As the jitters died down, we were able to find our way. As a team, we were poised and hung in there and eventually got our breaks.”
Manchester took the lead at 4:37 of the final stanza with left wing Bud Holloway’s first goal of the playoffs. Center Justin Azevedo fed the puck up the left wing to center Corey Elkins. Cutting to the net, Elkins lost control of the puck and netminder J.P. Lamoureux missed on the poke-check as he sprawled out on the ice. With the puck sitting in the slot unmanned, Holloway skated in and shoved it into the open net as he fell on top of the goaltender.
With Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche in the penalty box for interference, left wing Derek Whitmore redirected in his first goal of the playoffs at 6:18 of the opening frame. Cycling the puck in the Monarchs zone, defenseman T.J. Brennan found right wing Kyle Wanvig along the left wing half wall. Wanvig snapped a shot toward the net that Whitmore was able to get his stick on and redirect. The puck ricocheted off of Whitmore’s stick and then off of Monarchs defenseman Alec Martinez’s skate before trickling past goaltender Jonathan Bernier for the first goal of the game.
Monarchs right wing John Zeiler evened the game at 1-1 with his first tally of the playoffs at 2:22 of the third period. Center Gabe Gauthier picked up the loose puck in the slot as both Portland and Manchester players fought for possession. Gauthier’s initial shot was stopped by Lamoureux. The rebound popped free to the right doorstep for Zeiler to gingerly slide between the legs of the goaltender and into the net.
Bernier (1-0) earned his first playoff victory stopping 22-of-23 shots…Lamoureux (0-1) took his first playoff loss of the season with 28 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-3 on the power play. Portland was also 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
NOTABLES: This the third time in franchise history that the Monarchs have won the first game of a playoff series…This is the first meeting between the Monarchs and Pirates in the post-season in franchise history…Manchester outshot Portland 30-23…Center Bud Holloway scored his first AHL post-season tally…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier earned his first playoff victory in four attempts dating back to the 2008 playoffs.