MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester Monarchs used five third-period goals en route to ending the Adirondack Thunder’s season as Game 5 of the North Division Semifinals ended with a 7-1 final Saturday night at SNHU Arena.
Pierre-Luc Mercier scored the game’s first goal after Nic Pierog backhanded him a pass in front of an open net.
Mike Szmatula tied the game at 9:12 of the second period when he notched his first of the postseason. The Thunder’s leading goal scorer during the regular season made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone after a Manchester attempt to clear. The Commerce Township, Michigan native slammed a slap-shot on goal that Charles Williams saved initially, but after a charge towards the crease, Szmatula potted the loose puck to tie the game.
Manchester regained their lead less than five minutes later when Kevin Dufour scored a power-play goal with one second remaining on the man advantage.
The Monarchs added a five-spot in the final 20 minutes of regulation: Michael Doherty (2), Pavel Jenys, Sam Kurker and Dufour’s second of the night completed the scoring.
The two teams have faced off in postseason play in each of the past four seasons. Adirondack won the first and third matchups while Manchester was crowned during the second and fourth series’.
With the loss, Adirondack’s season is over. For all future news and updates on the Adirondack Thunder, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
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