St. John’s, NFL – The Newfoundland Growlers and Manchester Monarchs faced off in Game 2 of the North Division Final series Saturday night. The Monarchs had taken Game 1 by a score of 3-2, and the Growlers were looking to even things up before heading to New Hampshire for Games 3-5.
Like in Game 1, Manchester got on the board first in Game 2. Fresh off a faceoff won by Tony Cameranesi, Craig Wyszomirski blasted a shot from the blue line past Growlers goaltender Michael Garteig for the early 1-0 lead.
Josh Kestner tied the game 2:36 later. J.J. Piccinich won a faceoff in the Monarchs zone, straight back to Garrett Johnston, who quickly passed the puck over for Kestner to fire it home. Like in Game 1, the two teams were tied heading into the middle frame.
The middle frame came and went with no additional scoring. Growlers forward Zach O’Brien was awarded a penalty shot when he was taken down on his way to the Monarchs net, but goaltender Charles Williams made the save, and the score remained 1-1.
Newfoundland finally broke the deadlock 12:47 into the third when Brady Ferguson scored off a rebound. Williams had made the initial save on O’Brien, but couldn’t stop Ferguson’s attempt.
It took less than a minute for Manchester to tie it back up, however. Defenseman Chris Carlisle took a shot from the blue line, and forward Pavel Jenys deflected the puck past Garteig to even things up at two goals apiece.
The Growlers went ahead again nearly five minutes later, at the 18:31 mark, when O’Brien blistered the puck past Williams. It was another goal fresh off a faceoff (the second of the night for Newfoundland, the third overall in this game), with Ferguson winning it cleanly back to O’Brien.
With Manchester goaltender Williams pulled for an extra attacker, Derian Plouffe sped past two Monarchs skaters on his way into the offensive zone before putting the puck into the empty net with only 25 seconds remaining in the final frame. Neither team scored again, and the score held at 4-2.
The North Division Final is now tied at one game apiece. The two teams will travel to New Hampshire for Game 3 & 4 in Manchester, Tuesday and Wednesday. Game 5 will take place in nearby Exeter, NH on Friday. If needed, the teams will head back to St. John’s for Games 6 & 7 on May 6-7.