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May 04. 2013 11:54PM

All done: Monarchs elminated from AHL playoffs three games to one


Manchester's Colton Yellow Horn (17) beats Springfield goaltender Curtis McElhinney for a goal during the first period of Saturday night's AHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal game four at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - Overtime proved poison for the Monarchs. Again.

Springfield Falcon Nick Drazenovic broke into the Monarchs zone on a two-on-one and elected to shoot and beat Monarch goalie Martin Jones to the far side to lift his team to a 4-3 overtime win at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.

The end came 8:06 into the first extra session.

The Falcon win gave Springfield a three-games-to-one win in the AHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The Falcons advance to the Eastern semifinals. The Monarchs close up shop for the 2012-13 season.

"We hung in there against a very good team and had a chance to win this one today," said Monarchs coach Mark Morris.

The Monarchs, seeded No. 7 in the East, needed a fierce rally at the end of the season to get into the playoffs.

The Falcons are the No. 2 seed in the conference.

All three Springfield wins in the series came in overtime. The Falcons won the first two games last weekend and the Monarchs forced a Game 4 with a 2-1 win on Thursday night here.

Jones, outstanding in the series, had 37 saves and Curtis McElhinney, just as outstanding, the same number for the Falcons.

Linden Vey scored his first two goals of the series to help Manchester to a 3-1 lead early in the second period.

"He had a big day," Morris said. "You could tell he was back to his old self. He was bringing a lot of energy and played with a lot of confidence with the puck on his stick.

It was 3-3 going into the third period but neither team could score.

On to overtime.

The game did not start well for the home team.

Defenseman Blake Parlett deflected a Cody Bass shot from the right boards past Jones and the Falcons were on top just one minute and 40 seconds into the game.

Not to worry

The Monarchs answered with a pair of goals in less than two minutes midway through the opening period to grab the led.

Colton Yellow Horn and Vey got the goals.

Jordan Weal set up the first when he stole the puck from Springfield defenseman Nick Holden just outside the Falcon zone and broke in on McElhinney. He passed in front to Yellow Horn who patiently stickhandled and waited until the goalie went down and then put a backhander past him at 8:33 of the period.

Vey broke out of the Monarchs end and worked a give-and-go with Andreoff for the next score. Vey rifled a shot past McElhinney's glove to finish it off.

The Monarchs took the first two-goal lead of the series on Vey's second of the game at 5:17 of the middle period. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers made a great hustle play, diving to knock a loose puck on net and Vey followed the play and put it in and it was 3-1.

But the Monarchs could not hold the lead.

The Falcons took advantage of a turnover by Monarchs defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and Boone Jenner scored for 3-2 at 13:35 of the second.

Springfield won a wild scramble in the Monarchs crease and Michael Chaput scored to knot things at 3-3 with 1:24 left in the period.

Back and forth they went, each team creating chances and Jones and McElhinney denying them through the third period and into overtime.

Then the Falcons struck. Again.

alessels@unionleader.com


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