Monarchs Beat Stingrays, Force Game 7

Posted May 22, 2017

With another huge performance from Manchester goaltender Sam Brittain, the South Carolina Stingrays could not put away their Eastern Conference Finals series.

On the back of Brittain’s 38 saves in the blue paint, the Manchester Monarchs forced a decisive game seven with a 5-1 win in SNHU Arena. The Colorado Eagles await the winner of the series in the Kelly Cup Finals, having eliminated the top-seeded Toledo Walleye in five games.

Game seven will be Wednesday night at 7 p.m. It is the first game seven for both teams in the 2017 playoffs.

Seconds after refs sent Derek Arnold to the box for roughing in the first, Tyler Sikura cut off a clearance bid and found space to get a shot through Parker Milner. The Monarchs scored first in four of the first six games in the series.

Sikura added another late in the third, cashing in on a rebound from Cory Ward’s rush play. Daniel Ciampini put in the final goal on a 4-on-1.

Stingrays head coach Ryan Warsofsky pulled Milner after the fifth goal, giving Adam Carlson his first minutes in these Kelly Cup Playoffs. Milner finished with 26 saves on 31 shots. Carlson made two saves in relief.

Olivier Archambault got the only goal for South Carolina on the final power-play of the night. With Carlson pulled for the extra attacker, Archambault’s shot beat Brittain and slid into the net to avoid the shutout.

Archambault and Cody Corbett tied for the lead in shots for South Carolina at six.

Brittain turned in another “player of the game” performance to keep his Monarchs alive in the playoffs. He stopped Steven McParland, Joe Devin, and Domenic Monardo on open looks in the second period alone.

Matt Leitner, on Manchester’s sixth shot of the middle frame, scored from the slot. The Monarchs hemmed the Stingrays in their zone and generated three of their eight shots of the period from this shift.

By comparison, the Stingrays had 15 shots in the second period.

Ashton Rome put away the game midway through the third period. After a faceoff win Gasper Kopitar, younger brother of Anze of the LA Kings, Connor Hardowa sent a shot on Milner. Milner made the save, but Rome was open to bury the rebound.

Stingrays leading playoff scorer Rob Flick was held to two shots all game by a defense focused on stopping him from scoring. Joe Devin had five shots, but many of his better looks were either blocked or wide of the cage.

The last two game seven wins for South Carolina ended in multi-overtime goals from Devin. Devin has been held off the scoresheet since the series shifted to SNHU Arena.