MANCHESTER, NH – Center Alexandre Giroux scored the game-winning goal and goaltender Chris Holt stopped 25 shots to advance the Hartford Wolf Pack, 2-1, past the Manchester Monarchs in game seven of the best-of-seven Atlantic Division Semifinal Series B of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs at the Hartford Civic Center in front 4,357 fans on Saturday night. The Wolf Pack will face the Portland Pirates in the Atlantic Division Finals Series "I".
Manchester (43-30-3-4, 93 points) finished the regular season in third place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford (48-24-2-6, 104 points) ended the regular season in second place in the Atlantic Division.
Left wing Martin Sonnenberg deflected a shot off Monarchs goaltender Adam Hauser to give the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead at 3:42 of the first period. Giroux sent the puck over to right wing Greg Moore at the right face-off circle. Moore's shot bounced off of the side of the net and onto the stick of Sonnenberg behind the cage. Sonnenberg was able to flip the puck off Hauser's pads and over the goal line for his third goal of the playoffs.
The Monarchs returned the gesture with a tally at 11:47 of the opening frame. Right wing Konstantin Pushkarev pushed the puck free near the right face-off circle and defenseman Marty Wilford sent a floating shot in the direction of Holt. The puck caromed off Monarchs left wing Dany Roussin for his first goal of the playoffs.
Giroux and Sonnenberg teamed up for the Wolf Pack's game-winning goal at 6:16 of the third period. Sonnenberg carried the puck down the left wing boards as Hartford skated on a 4-on-2 breakaway. Giroux skated down the center of the ice to the net, picked up the feed from Sonnenberg and sent a slap shot past the blocker of Hauser for the series victory.
Hauser (1-2) took the loss stopping 34 shots. Holt (2-0) earned the victory with 25 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-3 on the power play. Hartford was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.