MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester Monarchs clinched a berth in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Elmira Jackals on Sunday afternoon at SNHU Arena.
The Monarchs (36-22-7-4) completed their season series with an 8-6-0-0 record against the Jackals (17-45-7-1).
The Jackals opened the scoring at 12:10 of the first period when Anthony Stefano scored his 1st goal of the season. The Jackals went in on a 2-on-1 when Nathan Moon found Stefano in the slot, where Stefano put a backhander through the five-hole of Monarchs goaltender, Charles Williams, to put Elmira up, 1-0.
Kevin Morris tied the game for the Monarchs with a power-play goal at 10:04 of the second period. David Kolomatis took a wrist shot and Morris, on top of the crease, picked up the rebound and put the puck past the stick of Jackals goaltender, Jason Kasdorf, for his 15th goal of the season.
The Monarchs extended their lead when Mario Puskarich scored his 4th goal of the season at 14:24 of the second period. After a shot from the point that hit Sikura in the right-wing circle, the Monarchs forward found Puskarich in the slot for a wrist shot past Kasdorf to make the score, 2-1, Manchester.
The Jackals tied the game at 3:54 of the third period with a 4-on-3 power-play goal from Davis Vandane. Matt Stanisz found Vandane on the top of the left circle where he put a one-timer over the right shoulder of Williams for his 11th tally of the season.
Zac Lynch gave the Monarchs the lead at 12:50 of the third period when he scored his 17th goal of the season. Skating into the Jackals zone on a 3-on-2, Joey Diamond found Daniel Doremus in the slot, but after Doremus miss-fired a shot, the puck trickled to Lynch who was crashing the net where he pushed home his second goal in as many nights.
The Monarchs solidified their win with an empty-net-goal from Diamond at 19:23 of the third period. The power-play goal gave Diamond his 23rd tally of the season.
The Monarchs are back in action Tuesday, Apr. 4 (7 p.m.), visit the Adirondack Thunder in an important North Division showdown from the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Monarchs will open the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs at SNHU Arena for games A & B of their North Division Semi-final matchup Friday, Apr. 14 and Saturday, Apr. 15.
Mario Puskarich now has four goals against the Jackals
Charles Williams improved to 2-0-0-0 in his career
Joey Diamond now has 135 career points
Photo Credit: Steve Babineau
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