MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Brampton Beast forward Luc-Olivier Blain scored his first professional postseason goal early in the third period but the hometown Manchester Monarchs scored early and often in Game Four of the North Division Finals and defeated the Brampton Beast 6-1 at SNHU Arena on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead.
Monarchs netminder Sam Brittain continued his strong play against Brampton and allowed one goal on 27 shots to help lead his club to victory.
Matt Leitner and Daniel Doremus each scored on the power play in the opening period to help the Monarchs carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, outshooting the Beast 12-6 in the process.
Kevin Morris added another power play tally in the second period to push the Monarchs lead to 3-0 heading into the final frame.
Luc-Olivier Blain got the Beast on the board at the 7:32 mark of the third period, capitalizing on a perfect pass from Chris Auger and redirecting the puck behind a sprawling Brittain, giving the Beast some hope for a late period comeback.
Ashton Rome scored less than three minutes later on a bouncing puck in front of Beast starting goaltender Zach Fucale, restoring the Monarchs’ four-goal lead at 10:17.
The Monarchs found themselves in penalty trouble late in the game and Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk elected to pull out all the stops and pull his netminder in favour of the extra skater while the Beast enjoyed a 6-on-4 man advantage.
The Monarchs were able to take advantage of the empty cage as Tyler Sikura scored a shorthanded empty-netter at 14:29 and Rome earned his second of the night, hopping out of the penalty box and walking in on an empty-net breakaway to end the scoring.
When it was all said and done, the difference in Game Four was the Monarchs’ power play, which connected for three goals on six opportunities.
Zach Fucale was steady between the pipes for the Beast and finished the game with 26 saves.
NOTES: Molson Three Stars: 3) Brittain (MAN) 2) Doremus (MAN) 1) Morris (MAN). The Beast finished the game 0-for-6 on the man advantage and 3-for-6 on the penalty kill. The Beast and Monarchs will square off in Game Five of the North Division Finals tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 3 at SNHU at 7:00PM.
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