MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs season came to an end as the Norfolk Admirals took Game 4 of the best-of-five 2012 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 4-3 in overtime, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night. The Admirals won the series, 3-1.
“I thought we played hard,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “I am proud of the effort we had not just tonight but the entire year.”
Center Alex Killorn scored 13:27 into overtime to give the Admirals a 4-3 overtime victory and to send them into the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Left wing Alexandre Picard took the puck fast down the right wing boards and wristed a shot on goal that Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell blocked. The puck fell into the crease for Killorn to roof over multiple bodies and Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Defenseman Mark Barberio also tallied an assist on Killorn’s first goal of the post-season.
The Monarchs took an early 1-0 lead as they capitalized on a turnover 38 seconds into the opening period. Left wing Richard Clune finished a check on an Admirals defenseman behind Norfolk’s cage. The defenseman passed the puck around the left wing boards. As the puck traveled, it caromed out of the left corner and right onto the stick of center Justin Azevedo in the left wing face-off circle. Azevedo wristed a shot just under the crossbar for his first goal of the post-season.
Norfolk tied the score in the second period with a goal by defenseman Evan Oberg at 7:18. Killorn took the puck into the left wing corner of the Monarchs zone and passed it back to Oberg in between the left point and the top of the left wing face-off circle. Oberg launched a slap shot that deflected off the leg of Campbell and in on Zatkoff who stopped it initially but then the puck trickled through five-hole and to the back of the net. Picard also recorded an assist on the play.
The Monarchs regained a one-goal lead, 2-1, in the middle stanza with a goal by defenseman Patrick Mullen while the teams skated 4-on-4 at 11:18. Forward Brian O’Neill applied the forecheck behind the Admirals cage before he took the puck and played it back to right wing Brandon Kozun at the left point. Kozun skated toward the center point and dropped the puck for Mullen. The defenseman skated down the center of the zone before wristing a shot high on the glove side for his first goal of the post-season.
Manchester opened a two-goal lead on the power play off the stick of left wing Andy Andreoff. Right wing Linden Vey passed the puck from the left point to defenseman Thomas Hickey at the center point. Hickey fired a blast that Andreoff redirected in front of the net for his second goal of the playoffs.
The Admirals scored a power play goal when Barberio wristed a shot at 16:58 of the second period. Left wing Cory Conacher started at the center point and skated to his left before finding Barberio near the left wing corner. Barberio skated into the left face-off circle before using a Monarchs player as a screen as his shot soared high on the stick side of Zatkoff. Barberio’s second goal of the playoffs was also assisted by right wing Michael Ouellet.
The Admirals even the scored at 3-3 only 16 seconds after Barberio’s tally when center Trevor Smith scored his second goal of the playoffs at 17:14 of the second period. Defenseman Radko Gudas picked off a Monarchs pass. Gudas played it to Smith entering the Monarchs zone along the right wing. Smith skated in and wristed a shot on Zatkoff. The netminder made the initial save but Smith flipped the rebound up over the glove of Zatkoff for the goal.
Zatkoff (0-2) took his second loss of the post-season stopping 35-of-39 shots. Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski (2-0) earned his second victory of the playoffs stopping 22-of-25 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Norfolk was also 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs went to overtime for the first time this post-season…This was the 23rd overtime game in Monarchs playoff history…The Monarchs scored their first power play goal of the series and went 1-for-25 with the man advantage in the series…Manchester is 0-for-10 in playoff elimination games...Monarchs center Justin Azevedo scored his seventh career post-season goal.
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