Game Four Loss to Monarchs Ends Pack's SeasonMay 27, 2015
The Wolf Pack dropped Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night to the Manchester Monarchs at the XL Center, by a score of 3-1. The loss knocks Hartford out of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Hartford’s lone goal came from Ryan Haggerty. The goal was assisted by Oscar Lindberg and Carl Klingberg. Yann Danis had 28 saves on 31 shots.
Manchester had goals from Nic Dowd, Adrian Kempe and Brian O’Neill. J-F Berube stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced.
“I said in the locker room, this team has come a really long way,” said Wolf Pack forward Chris Bourque. “I think you just look back to February and things weren’t looking too hot. We came together as a team and busted out some big wins and got to the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s not an easy thing to do.”
The Monarchs drew first blood just 3:13 in to the first period. It was Kevin Gravel who fired a shot wide of the goal, and the puck caromed to the front of the net. David Van der Gulik directed it to Dowd, who was in an opportune place and slammed the puck home to give the Monarchs the early lead.
“We wanted to have good starts, [but] for whatever reason they always got that first goal,” said Hartford defenseman Dylan McIlrath. “Later in the series when that happens, it’s like here we go again almost. It was tough mentally, but I thought today our guys really battled. We had a lot of chances too and it could have gone either way.”
Just 1:23 into the second period, Haggerty tied the game up after battling in front. Lindberg fired a turnaround shot on net from the top of the right faceoff circle and the puck landed at the top of the crease. Haggerty was able to send the puck over Berube’s blocker as he was being taken down.
“It was really hard for us to generate offense,” said Hartford coach Ken Gernander. “I don’t know if we were a really prolific, high-energy, run and gun-type of offense prior to this series, but we were certainly able to generate offense and sustain offensive pressure. We just couldn’t get it done in this series like we had in the prior two.”
Manchester took a 2-1 lead after a few rebound opportunities. Nick Shore had a chance from in front of the net, but Danis (29 saves) made the stop. The rebound kicked to Kempe, who was able to light the lamp on his second chance in front.
“We fought hard in this series, but things just didn’t go our way,” said Bourque. “They’re a really good team and you have to give them credit, but it just seemed a little off all series. We weren’t playing the way we were in the Hershey series and that bit us in the butt, and the next thing you know the series is over.”
With 11:50 remaining in regulation, the Monarchs were able to score on a delayed penalty. It was O’Neill who found himself skating through the slot with no one contesting him. Conor Allen was beside O’Neill, but had lost his stick.
“It was great, getting to play with my younger brother (Ryan) for the whole year,” said Bourque of his year with the Wolf Pack. “It was something that we’ve always talked about, and to have the opportunity to do that and be so close to home was something special, and something that I won’t forget. Playing in Hartford, it was great. Even the town seemed like there was a little bit of a buzz whenever we had games. The building was packed a couple of times and I think this was a good group of guys that people liked to watch.”
Manchester Monarchs 3 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - XL Center
Manchester 1 1 1 - 3
Hartford 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Manchester, Dowd 4 (Van der Gulik, Gravel), 3:13. Penalties-C. Bourque Hfd (interference), 14:02.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Haggerty 2 (Lindberg, Klingberg), 1:23. 3, Manchester, Kempe 4 (Backman, Bodnarchuk), 6:18. Penalties-Allen Hfd (elbowing), 2:33; Kempe Mch (hooking), 11:58.
3rd Period-4, Manchester, O'Neill 9 (Forbort, LoVerde), 8:10. Penalties-Lindberg Hfd (slashing), 9:35.
Shots on Goal-Manchester 11-13-7-31. Hartford 6-9-7-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 3; Hartford 0 / 1.
Goalies-Manchester, Berube 11-3-0 (22 shots-21 saves). Hartford, Danis 7-6-0 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Evgeny Romasko (6).
Linesmen-John Grandt (98), Luke Galvin (2).