Monarchs open playoffs in Springfield
The Manchester Monarchs will begin their best-of-five Calder Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the MassMutual Center at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Springfield Falcons.
Manchester's six-game winning streak ended Sunday with a 4-2 loss at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., against the Bears, who clinched the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Manchester clinched the seventh seed Saturday after beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3-1.
Springfield, the No. 2 seed, will host the first two games of the series Saturday and Sunday (4 p.m.).
The series will shift back to Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester for Game 3 on Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m. and a possible Game 4 on Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. If Game 5 is needed, Springfield will host it on Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m.
"The cards seem to have fallen in our favor to become a playoff bound team," said Manchester coach Mark Morris after Saturday's win. "That, coupled with another gutsy effort, brought out lots of smiles around the locker room. These guys deserve a ton of credit for this run coming down the stretch.
"It's heartwarming to see the team get rewarded. The odds didn't look very favorable at certain points during the season, but we have kept a good focus and haven't gotten ahead of ourselves. One step at a time is usually the best approach when you are faced with a daunting task."
Hershey, playing before 10,984 fans Sunday, took a 2-0 first-period lead behind goals from Chay Genoway and Boyd Kane.
Manchester scored at the 6:22 mark of the third period when Tanner Pearson tallied against Bears netminder Philipp Grubauer, who stopped 23 of 25 shot attempts. Twenty-five seconds later, Hershey answered on a goal from Jon DiSalvatore, who later iced the win with a power-play goal at the 14:59 mark.
David Kolomatis scored a power-play goal for Manchester at the 17:44 mark for the final score of the game. Ty Rimmer got the start in the Manchester net and stopped 36 of 40 shot attempts. Manchester, 1-for-5 with the man advantage, was outshot, 40-25.
Beginning today at 9:30 a.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena Box Office, tickets for the first three rounds (maximum of 11 games) will go on sale. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.manchestermonarchs.com.
Tickets for the first round will also be available by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com starting today.
Individual playoff ticket prices for the first round of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs will range from $16 to $33.