MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Norfolk Admirals never solved Manchester goaltender Jean-Francois Berube and fell to the Manchester Monarchs, 2-0, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Admirals’ John Gibson (0-1-0) played well while stopping 24 of 26 shots, but took a backseat to Manchester’s Jean-Francois Berube (1-0-0) who saved all 30 Norfolk shots in the win.
At 11:38 of the first period, Manchester opened the night’s scoring on the rush from a feed in front by Michael Mersch to Sean Backman. Mersch chased down a loose puck and tossed a pass to an oncoming Backman who tapped a one-timer from the doorstep into the top right corner for a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second period, Manchester’s Zach O’Brien sealed the Monarch victory late in the third when he picked up a turnover in the Admirals’ zone. O’Brien zipped a snap shot from the middle slot past Gibson at 18:40 to secure a 2-0 victory over Norfolk in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
Though the Admirals enjoyed 40 seconds of a five-on-three power play, Norfolk went scoreless on three man advantages. The Admirals’ penalty kill looked exceptional as it has all season, holding the Monarchs to 0-for-4 on the power play.
Game 2 gets underway at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The two clubs then head south to Norfolk for Game 3 Wednesday and will also square off at Norfolk Scope Arena for Games 4 and 5 next Friday and Saturday if necessary.
2014 Calder Cup Playoff tickets are available to purchase for individual games or in two different package options. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime.
1. Jean-Francois Berube - MAN
2. Sean Backman - MAN
3. John Gibson - NOR
NOTES … Did not play: Mat Clark, Stefan Noesen, Max Sauve, Ryan Parent, Steven Whitney, Joseph Cramarossa, Jaycob Megna, Shea Theodore, Kevin Lind, Ryan Faragher, and Kenton Helgesen