Growlers Take 3-1 Series Lead, Defeat Monarchs 4-3
The Growlers held off the Manchester Monarchs with the help of 41 saves from Goaltender Michael Gartieg 4-3 Wednesday night at the SNHU Arena in Manchester to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Corey Ward opened the scoring just about halfway through the first period for the Monarchs, snapping a point shot past a screened Michael Garteig. The Monarchs took that 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play.
The second period belonged to the Newfoundland Growlers as they erupted for three straight goals. Josh Kestner made no mistake on a breakaway to start the Growlers scoring run. Zach O'Brien chipped in with a powerplay tally, his 6th goal of the postseason and Brady Ferguson added another powerplay marker with just under 3 minutes left in the second period. Manchester scored on a turnover shortly after the Ferguson goal, from the stick of Pierre-Luc Mercier. The Growlers still held a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
The Growlers powerplay just kept buzzing as Giorgio Estephan added the third powerplay goal for the Newfoundland squad just 5:25 into the third period to push the Growlers lead to 4-2. Once again Pierre-Luc Mercier added a counterstrike of a goal to pull the Monarchs within one but Gartieg would not allow any more pucks behind him as the Growlers held on to the 4-3 victory.
The Growlers now lead the best-of-seven series 3 games to 1 and can close out the series with a victory Friday night in Manchester.
Zach O'Brien scored his team-leading 6th goal of the postseason and totalled 3 points on the night
Michael Gartieg made 41 saves in the Victory
The three stars were 3 - K. Dufour (MAN), 2 - P. Mercier (MAN) and 1 - Z. O'Brien (NFL)
The series continues in Manchester for game five Friday night at the Rinks at Exeter. Puck drop is 8:30 p.m. Newfoundland time. Fans can tune into Chris Ballard's call of the game at mixlr.com/nlgrowlers.
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