Monarchs edged in overtime in playoff opener
The Monarchs came up just short.
They scored with less than nine minutes to play to take No. 2 seed Springfield to overtime, but Cody Bass got a goal at the 10:36 mark of the extra session to lift the Falcons to a 2-1 win in the opener of the AHL Eastern Conference playoff series on Saturday night at Springfield, Mass.
David Savard kept the puck in the Manchester zone at the right point to start the decisive play. He passed to Ryan Russell against the boards on the right. Russell relayed to Bass at the top of the crease and he was able to tip the puck off his backhand and past Monarchs goalie Martin Jones.
Jones had 33 saves in the game, including five in overtime as the Falcons took the play to the Monarchs. Curtis McElhinney had 28 saves for the win.
The Monarchs, the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Falcons go at it again in Springfield this afternoon at 4 in Game 2 of the best-of-five series. The series moves to Manchester and the Verizon Wireless Arena for Game 3 on Thursday night. Game 4, if necessary, is on Saturday night at the Verizon. A Game 5 would be back in Springfield on Sunday at 4, if needed.
The Falcons had a 6-1 edge in shots in overtime.
Defenseman Blake Parlett scored on a penalty shot midway through the game to put the Falcons up 1-0. He got it with 9:35 left in the second period.
Parlett was given the penalty shot after he came out of the penalty box and took a long pass and headed to the Manchester net alone. A Monarch defender got to him and Parlett got a shot off, but was awarded the penalty shot. McElhinney and the Falcons made the lead stand until less than nine minutes remained in the game.
Brian O'Neill tied it for the Monarchs with 8:49 to play. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers took a shot from out front and the puck deflected off O'Neill's skate and in. Andy Andreoff also assisted.
Jones made 10 saves and McElhinney nine through a scoreless first period. At the end of regulation, McElhinney had 28 saves and Jones 25.
Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play in the game.
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It didn't take long to get an upset in the AHL playoffs. Hershey, the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, knocked off No. 1 Providence, 5-2, on Friday night. The Bears scored their first three goals on power plays and were three-for-six on the man-advantage for the night. Hershey squeezed its way into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.