Monarchs Outlast Thunder, 5-4, in Regular Season Finale
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - The Manchester Monarchs outlasted the Adirondack Thunder, 5-4, in the regular season finale Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Monarchs (39-24-4-5) closed out their 15-game regular season series with the Thunder (38-28-2-4) with an 8-6-1-0 record, and will now face the same Thunder team in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Monarchs opened the scoring when Michael Boivin scored his 10th goal of the season on the power play at 10:23 of the first period. After playing catch with Gasper Kopitar, Boivin took a pass from Maxim Kitsyn, walked the puck into the high slot and sent a wrister over the blocker shoulder of Thunder goaltender, Drew Fielding,
Manchester added to their lead when Zac Larraza scored for the second night in a row, sending his 19th goal of the season past Fielding at 15:22 of the opening period. After Darik Angeli created a turnover at center ice, Matt Fornataro went in on a partial breakaway. Fielding made the initial save on Fornataro with is blocker, but the rebound kicked right to Larraza's stick, and the Monarchs rookie made no mistake, sending the puck past a diving Fielding, putting the Monarchs up, 2-0.
The Monarchs continued to pour it on when Ryan McGrath scored the first goal of his career at 18:52 of the first period. After a face-off win, Alex Lintuniemi sent a slap shot on net that McGrath tipped under the glove of Fielding, extending the Monarchs lead to 3-0.
Adirondack stopped the landslide at 12:02 of the second period when Mathieu Brodeur scored his 9th goal of the season while on the power play. Brodeur sent a one-timer over the blocker shoulder of Monarchs goaltender, Doug Carr, bringing the game to 3-1.
The Thunder continued their comeback with a goal from Michael Kirkpatrick at 14:38, his 30th goal of the season. Kirkpatrick sent a shot from the top of the left face-off circle that was deflected on its way to the net and snuck through the pads of Carr, bringing the game to 3-2.
The Monarchs took their two-goal lead back at 6:22 of the third period when Gasper Kopitar scored his 9th goal of the season. Lintuniemi was prominent on this goal as well, as he held the puck at the top of the slot and fed Kopitar who had an open net to shot into, beating Fielding to put the Monarchs up, 4-2.
Larraza gave the Monarchs breathing room when he scored for the second time in the game, and his 20th goal of the season, at 10:48 in the final frame. Larraza grabbed the loose puck at the right point after a Thunder turnover, skated to the slot, faked a shot and then sent a rocket over the glove-shoulder of Fielding, making the score, 5-2.
Adirondack wouldn't go away, as Alexander Carrier scored his 5th goal of the season at 18:51 of the third period. Carrier found the puck after a stalemate draw and sent a quick wrister under the left pad of Carr, making the game, 5-3.
The Thunder added another late goal, this time coming off the stick of Greg Wolfe with :33 seconds remaining in regulation. With Fielding pulled for an extra attacker, Wolfe grabbed the rebound from a Patch Alber shot, and sent the puck past Carr, bringing the score to 5-4 on his 16th goal of the season.
The Monarchs open the Playoffs on Wednesday night (7 p.m.), when they host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals against the -Thunder.
Ryan Patsch made his return to the Monarchs, signing an SPC with the team this morning
Ryan McGrath scored his first professional goal
Jacob Middleton recorded his first professional point on an assist
Zac Larraza has posted back-to-back two-point games for the first time in his career
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