GLENS FALLS, NY – Cory Ward scored the game-winning goal 2:57 into overtime as the Manchester Monarchs took down the 6-5 victory and win the North Division Semifinal series 4 games to 2.
Dennis Kravencho scored his first of two goals a little over halfway of the first period when he re-directed a Ryan Culkin wrist shot past Monarchs goaltender Sam Brittain to go up 1-0. Monarchs forward Matt Leitner tied it up less than two minutes later with a power-play goal. Colton Saucerman setup a slap pass to Matt Leitner, who put it over the blocker of goaltender J.P. Anderson to tie it at 1-1 in the middle stages of the first period.
Both sides kept the goal judges busy in the middle frame.
Kravencho scored his second goal of the night a little over six minutes into the period, firing a wrist shot that went past Brittain to go up 2-1. The see-saw affair continued 17 seconds later when Tyler Sikura tipped in a shot from Connor Hardowa to tie it at 2-2.
Just before the midway point of the game, the Monarchs took their first lead of the game when Kevin Morris scored his first goal of the series to give Manchester a 3-2 lead. With 7:26 left in the middle frame, James Henry tied the game at 3, capitalizing on a rebound from a Ryan Culkin slapshot.
Brian Ward would wrap up the scoring in the second when he beat Brittain all alone on a breakaway to score his first goal of the playoffs to put Adirondack up 4-3 after two periods of play.
The scoring didn’t stop in the third.
Tyler Sikura tied the game at four 26 seconds into the third period, tipping a shot from Ashton Rome through the legs of Anderson. Zac Lynch would respond and give the Monarchs the lead for the second time in the game a little over halfway in the third period when Thomas Schemitsch fired a shot and Lynch deflected it over the glove of Anderson to make it 5-4.
The Thunder would not give up, however. Patch Alber took a pass from Alex Wall and fired a one-timer past Brittain to tie it up at 5 with 2:34 left in regulation.
After winning their seventh straight faceoff stemming back to the end of regulation, Monarchs forward Cory Ward fired a shot from a sharp angle that beat Anderson 2:58 into the first overtime.
The Monarchs took six shots during the overtime period while the Thunder did not take any shots on goal.
NOTES: The North Division Finals schedule has been set as the Monarchs will take on the Brampton Beast. The first two games will be at the Powerade Centre on Thursday and Saturday while the series will shift back to Manchester for games three, four, and five, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week and the series will finish out in Brampton if necessary.
The puck will drop in game one on Thursday at 7:15 P.M.