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.