The Manchester Monarchs, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, will play the first two games of their first-round playoff series at home, but will travel to Norfolk, Va., for Games 3, 4 and 5 — the final two games only if necessary.
The American Hockey League released its Calder Cup playoffs schedule Sunday showing Manchester will host the first two games at Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday and Saturday nights. But the rest of the series against the Admirals, the lowest-seeded (eighth) team in the Eastern Conference, will be in Norfolk, giving Norfolk a potential home-ice advantage for the deciding game.
"Travel expenses," explained Kimberly Mueller, vice-president of public affairs for the Monarchs. Mueller noted that six of the eight first-round playoff series go 2-3 in format.
Also, said Mueller, Norfolk's arena is not available until after April 28, which is why the series begins in Manchester.
Manchester and Norfolk will play Friday and Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. starts. Game 3 in Norfolk is set for Wednesday, and, if needed, Games 4 and 5 will be played Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3.
The Monarchs reached the post-season for the 12th time in their 13-year history.