Monarchs Go Up 2-0
|Jonathan Bernier stopped 22-of-23 to put the Monarchs up 2-0 in the series.
“We came out of the gate quick,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Saturday’s game two win over Portland. “Those three goals were a breath of fresh air. It helped us put some distance between us and Portland. Periods two and three, we spent a lot of time in our zone but strong goaltending and defensive play helped us keep the two-goal lead.”
Left wing Bud Holloway doubled the Monarchs lead over the Pirates at 13:11 of the first frame with his second goal of the playoffs. Defenseman Andrew Campbell blasted a slap shot from the right point that goaltender J.P. Lamoureux made a pad save on. The puck popped free to the left of the netminder and Holloway flipped the one-timer into the open net. Left wing Dwight King earned an assist on the goal for his first point of the playoffs.
Rookie center Corey Elkins tallied his first goal of the season at 11:26 of the opening period. Stealing the puck at the Pirates blueline, Elkins skated in on Lamoureux all alone with defenseman Mike Kostka on his heels. Fighting to stay on his feet and control the puck, Elkins moved to his backhand to slide the first tally of the game between Lamoureux’s legs.
Manchester brought the score to 3-0 when right wing Trevor Lewis tipped a shot past Lamoureux at the 17-minute mark of the first period. Campbell fed the puck over to his blueline partner, defenseman Jacob Muzzin, at the left point. The rookie fired a slap shot that Lewis got a piece of in the left face-off circle to redirect it over Lamoureux’s right shoulder for his first goal of the post-season.
The Pirates made their way onto the scoreboard with left wing Derek Whitmore’s second goal of the playoffs at 9:33 of the middle frame. With Monarchs right wing Kevin Westgarth in the penalty box for elbowing, Portland controlled the puck deep in Manchester territory. Left wing Nathan Gerbe sent the puck to Whitmore in the right corner of the zone. Whitmore took a couple strides toward the net before letting go an odd angle shot that beat Monarchs netminder Jonathan Bernier. Right wing Mark Mancari assisted on the Pirates goal.
Bernier (2-0) earned his second playoff victory stopping 22-of-23 shots. Lamoureux (0-2) took his second playoff loss of the season with 34 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Portland was also 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
NOTABLES: The Monarchs have taken a two game lead in a playoff series only one other time in team history; the Atlantic Division Semifinals in 2007 when Manchester won the series against Worcester four games to two…Manchester outshot Portland for the second consecutive game, 37-to-23…Center Corey Elkins and right wing Trevor Lewis scored their first goals of the post-season…Left wing Bud Holloway scored his team-leading second goal of the playoffs…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier recorded his second win in the post-season with 22 saves.