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

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

April 27. 2014 7:28PM

With series tied 1-1, Monarchs face adversity hitting the road

Usually a split on home ice for a higher-seeded playoff team isn't a bad thing. That's not the case for the top-ranked Manchester Monarchs who, at no fault of their own, face the challenge of winning two road games this week against the eighth-seeded Admirals at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

"It doesn't seem right, but those decisions are beyond our control," said head coach Mark Morris of the American Hockey League playoff schedule which gives Norfolk the home ice advantage for the rest of the series.

Game 3 of the best-of-five 2014 Calder Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinals series resumes Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. Game 4 will be held Friday at 7:30 p.m. and if needed, the decisive Game 5 will be played Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Last Friday Manchester, behind goalie J.F. Berube's 30-save performance, captured Game 1 with a 2-0 triumph at the Verizon Wireless Arena. On Saturday the Admirals rallied back from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win.

Wednesday's game looms big because the loser will be forced to win the last two games on consecutive nights to advance.

Morris, now in his eighth season with the Monarchs, said his teams over the years have conquered challenges and he welcomes this one. "We've overcome bigger odds especially over the last couple of seasons," said Morris. "Last year we won our last six games to qualify for the playoffs. The year before we did the same, winning six of our final seven. We have to bring our A-game to Norfolk and approach this week one shift at a time."

Morris said the first two games could have gone either way.

"In Game 1 we executed on the few opportunities we had to score and Berube played very well," said Morris. "Conversely, John Gibson (Nolfolk goalie) ended up shutting the door on us Saturday after we got off to a strong start."

Morris said Norfolk's seeding is misleading in that they're a tough match-up for many teams across the league.

"They've got size, toughness and, not to mention, players on their roster who have NHL experience," said Morris.

Gibson got called up to Anaheim earlier this month. In his NHL debut, he shutout Vancouver 3-0 and, in his next outing, helped the Ducks clinch the Pacific Division with a 5-2 win against San Jose. He also beat Colorado 3-2 in overtime before getting transferred back to Norfolk.

"They have a veteran center in Dave Steckel, who can win you a ton of draws, and the two Swedes, William Karlsson and Andre Petersson, have been nice additions for them," said Morris. "We have to just play to our identity which is speed, quickness and skill. It has served us well to this point in our season."

One area Morris said Manchester needs to shore up is its power play, which was 0-for-4 Saturday. "We were ineffective Saturday on the power play," said Morris. "We didn't get it done and it's been a sore spot for us. We need to be grittier, need to have guys willing to win the puck. We've preached it all year."

Still Manchester has shown the ability to bounce back after losses, losing consecutive games just five times all season. "It starts with Berube, right through our roster," sais Morris. "We've been consistent all season long and that's a good thing for us heading to Norfolk."

 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

New Hampshireís Sam Fuld traded back to A's

CAA preseason poll puts a target on New Hampshire, coach says

Chowder Potís entertainment halted by bloody baseball rivalry and liquor liability

Heavyweight great 'Gentleman' Gerry Cooney on dramatic career and the hardest comeback of all

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway


Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory