NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Sam Brittain had another top notch performance with 44 saves while earning his 10th victory of the playoffs as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the South Carolina Stingrays 4-3 in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Monarchs were outshot 16-5 in the first period by the Stingrays. Matt Leitner setup Zac Lynch to get the Monarchs on the board first. Lynch skated with the puck and took a wrist shot that went right through a Stingrays defenseman’s leg and past the glove of South Carolina goaltender, Parker Milner to go up 1-0.
The Monarchs extended their lead just 2:30 later. Monarchs defenseman Thomas Schemitsch took a shot and Milner made the save but Quentin Shore was able to put in the rebound to go up 2-0.
The Monarchs went up by three goals almost halfway at 8:54 in the second period. Ashton Rome setup Craig Wyszomirski. Wyszomirski took a slap shot that went by Milner to go up 3-0.
The Stingrays were able to cut it down to be behind two goals. The Monarchs made a turnover as Marcus Perrier was able to take the slap shot and put it past Brittain for his first of the playoffs to make it 3-1.
The Monarchs were able to extend their lead to three goals again at 1:06 of the third period. Kevin Morris scored his fifth goal during the campaign with a wrist shot to make it 4-1.
The Stingrays would try to start another comeback. Rob Flick scored his eighth goal of the playoffs at 4:13 into the third period. Derek Arnold took a shot and trickled through the legs of Brittain. Flick was able to put in the rebound to make it 4-2.
The Stingrays cut the deficit to one a little over four minutes later at 8:15 of the third period. Andrew Cherniwchan sent a pass to Flick that went towards Brittain. Joe Devin found the rebound and was able to put it in to cut the deficit to one at 4-3.
Milner was pulled with 1:36 left in regulation in hope for the Stingrays to complete the comeback as it was not enough and the Monarchs were able to hold on for the 4-3 victory and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Milner made 21 saves in the loss for the Stingrays.
These two teams will return for a crucial game three on Monday evening at the North Charleston Coliseum. The puck will drop at 7pm EST.