GLENS FALLS, NY – The Manchester Monarchs will play the Adirondack Thunder in a crucial game three in the North Division Semifinals tonight at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Monarchs head to Adirondack with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series after scoring back-to-back wins in their only home games of the series at SNHU Arena this past weekend.
The series now shifts to upstate New York, where the Thunder were tough to beat during the regular season, sporting a record of 22-8-3-3, good for second best in the Eastern Conference and sixth in the ECHL. This may be one of the few times a 2-0 series deficit doesn’t matter, especially when you consider that — potentially — the next five games are going to be at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Quentin Shore leads the Monarchs in scoring with two goals and three assists. His five points ranks second in the Kelly Cup Playoff scoring. Matt Leitner is right behind Shore, coming in fourth in scoring, with two goals and two assists. This morning, the Monarchs announced reinforcements were coming from the AHL, with Zac Lynch and Thomas Schemitsch re-joining the team after stints with Springfield in the AHL. Both will add depth scoring to the Monarchs lineup.
Defensively, the Monarchs have tightened up as the game has gone on, allowing 24 shots in the first period, but only 25 shots in the final two periods throughout the series.
Sam Brittain has been the difference so far in this series, making 46 saves, and stands fourth in the ECHL with a goals against average of 1.50. Brittain earned his first two career playoff wins over the weekend.
On the other side, Thunder defenseman Alex Wall led the team with a pair of goals on Saturday, his first two career playoff goals. Wall led all Adirondack defensemen on the season with 44 points (6-38-44), ranking fifth in the ECHL in both assists and points among rookie blueliners this season. His defensive partner, Stepan Falkovsky, recently returned to the Adirondack lineup for the first time since mid-March. Falkovsky’s 21 goals led all ECHL defensemen during the regular season.
Special teams have been key for both teams in the series. After two games, the Monarchs are in second place in the ECHL with a power-play percentage of 28.6% while the Thunder are right behind them in third with 25%.
The Monarchs will look to take a 3-0 lead as the puck will drop tonight at the Glens Falls Civic Center at 7:00 pm.