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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
WORCESTER, MA – Rookie center Brian Boyle scored the double overtime game-winner to advance the Manchester Monarchs to the 2007 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Finals for the first time in franchise history with a 3-2 double overtime win to eliminate the Worcester Sharks in front of 1,828 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night.

The Providence Bruins topped the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-2 on Saturday night to push game seven of their series on Sunday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. Game one of the 2007 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Finals will begin at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. and Wednesday, May 2 at 7:05 p.m. versus either the Bruins or Wolf Pack. Tickets will go on sale on Sunday, April 29 at 10:00 a.m. through Ticketmaster by phone at (603) 868-7300 or by logging onto The Verizon Wireless Arena box office will be open from 12:00-3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

After winning three straight and then losing two in a row, Manchester came out in the first period ready to end the series as they netted two tallies in the first 20 minutes. Center Shay Stephenson scored his first goal of the playoffs when he picked up the puck from Boyle and skated down the left wing in Sharks territory. Stephenson attempted a shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle but fanned on the puck. He regained control, carried it behind the net and finished off the play with a wrap around goal by sliding the puck past Worcester goaltender Dimitri Patzold at 11:40 of the first period. Right wing Lauri Tukonen earned an assist on the first goal of the game.

Defenseman T.J. Kemp tallied his first goal of the playoffs at 18:43 as Sharks center Tom Cavanagh sat in the penalty box for tripping. Boyle battled along the right wing boards and passed the puck to Kemp at the right point. The defenseman settled the puck and blasted a slap shot into the net for a 2-0 lead. Center Marty Murray collected the other assist on the tally.

A scary moment for the Monarchs happened at 14:06 of the second period as defenseman Justin Kurtz hit Tukonen along the Monarchs bench. Tukonen was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to Saint Vincent Hospital for further evaluation. He was alert and moving his limbs as he was taken off the ice.

The Sharks cut the Monarchs lead in half at 4:30 of the final period with a power play goal by Cavanagh. Defenseman Garrett Stafford sent the puck from the right boards in the offensive zone to defenseman Patrick Traverse at the left point. Traverse shot the puck on net that Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera saved. Cavanagh was camped out in front, picked up the rebound and flipped it over LaBarbera into the open net.

Center Mike Iggulden tied the game at 15:43 of the third period as he tipped in a shot by defenseman Tom Walsh on the power play. Center Torrey Mitchell passed the puck to Walsh at the right point who sent a slap shot toward the net. Iggulden, screening LaBarbera, tipped the puck for his third goal of the series and to push overtime.

Boyle stuffed in the game-winner at 9:37 of double overtime to send the Monarchs into the second round of the playoffs. Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky blasted a shot that hit off the end-boards and bounced to the left of the net. Boyle put his stick on the puck and tipped it onto the goal line. Patzold's skate nudged the puck over the line to bounce the Sharks from the playoffs. Centers Patrick O'Sullivan and Matt Ryan were credited with the assists.

LaBarbera collected the win with 45 saves. Patzold took loss stopping 34-of-37 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-5 with the man advantage. Worcester was 2-for-6 on the power play.
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