action:article | category:SPORTS0702 | adString:SPORTS0702 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

April 25. 2014 10:24PM

Berube holds fort as Monarchs win playoff opener


Monarchs goalie J.F. Berube makes one of his 30 saves during Friday's game at Verizon Wireless Arena. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Rookie goaltender J.F. Berube made 30 saves to backstop the Manchester Monarchs to a 2-0 win over Norfolk in Game 1 of their first round AHL playoff series in front of 6,623 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena Friday night.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be tonight at 7 p.m. at the Verizon. The series will shift to Norfolk for the final games of the series beginning Wednesday with Game 3.

"They're a good team and they gave us all we could handle," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "I thought Berube played very well for us and he was a big reason there was a goose egg on our side. Kudos to him."

Berube held tough through the third period as the Monarchs clung to a 1-0 lead. Manchester killed 43 seconds of five-on-three power play time early in the third and got an insurance goal late to put the game away.

Zach O'Brien made it 2-0 with 1:20 remaining in the game, slipping the puck five-hole on John Gibson after Andy Andreoff curled above the left circle and passed the puck to O'Brien on the wing.

Norfolk pulled Gibson for the extra attacker, but Manchester was able to close out the game and notch the first win of the series.

"I thought our guys competed hard. For a lot of those guys it's the first time they've experienced pro hockey in the playoff mode," Morris said. "It may not have been the prettiest, but it was a win nonetheless and a win at home."

It was Berube's first playoff game and came with the bonus of his first playoff shutout.

"It's a short series, best of five and that first game is really important to set up the next few games. We played good enough to get out with the win," Berube said. "The bottom line, I just wanted to give a chance to my team to win and in the playoffs all that matters is the win."

Manchester led 1-0 after one period on a goal from Sean Backman. Michael Mersch chipped the puck off the boards and chased it down on the left wing side, getting to it deep in the zone and sending a pass to Backman on the slot for a deflection off a defender and over Gibson's shoulder and in.

"It was a good play by Mersch there," Backman said. "I went hard to the net and kind of back-doored the D. It hit the D's stick and kind of ramped up behind him."

That goal would prove to be enough to give Manchester a 1-0 series lead, though Morris said there will be some things to work on for Game 2.

"I thought we were a little loose in the first part of the game. We gave them some point-blank shots in the high slot and we've got to clean that up. I also thought we could do a better job of picking up late men. I thought we were a little dozy and puck-focused," Morris said. "But again, you can't be too picky. You've got to build on the good things, too, and try and shore up some of those hiccups along the way."

iclark@unionleader.com


  • Should professional sports teams impose penalties on athletes for behaviors unrelated to performance on the field?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 13%
  • Depends on offense
  • 28%
  • Total Votes: 64
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices as productive as any

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!