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Manchesters Best Binghamton 1-0

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs took the first game in the best-of-seven 2011 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinal Series B against the Binghamton Senators, 2-1, at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Thursday night.

“I thought we played pretty hard and Barry Brust stood on his head – I thought we could have scored a couple more,” remarked Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.

“It was a hard fought game and I thought Jeff Zatkoff was really good, and defensively we did a nice job on the (penalty kill) especially early on during the 5-on-3, and we had some timely scoring so it’s typical playoff hockey.  It’s going to be close and I just think that our guys did a nice job.  It’s a good hockey team that we beat.”

Defenseman David Kolomatis scored his first goal of the post-season at 16:25 of the third period to give the Monarchs the 2-0 advantage.  After regaining possession of the puck, Manchester set a cycle in motion as they attempted to capitalize on their power play.  Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov stood in the high slot as he gathered the puck, and quickly passed it over to center Justin Azevedo as he was set in the left face-off circle.  Azevedo spotted an open Kolomatis positioned low in the right face-off circle and fed him the puck.  Kolomatis wristed the feed over the left shoulder of Senators netminder Barry Brust for the eventual game-winning goal.

Center Corey Elkins potted his first goal of the 2011 playoffs at 2:19 of the second period to give Manchester the 1-0 lead.  Putting pressure in the Senators zone, right wing Jordan Nolan crashed the crease for a quick rebound that the Binghamton goaltender could not contain.  Nolan swung the puck back into the right face-off circle, drawing Brust out to the left side of the crease.  Nolan fed the puck to Elkins between the hash marks and the center wristed the shot straight into the back of the net to give Manchester the one-goal advantage.

Center Ryan Potulny tallied his first goal in this season’s playoff stretch at 19:21 of the third period to put Binghamton on the board for the first time.  In the midst of a dominant offensive stretch, left wing Kaspars Daugavins gained control of the puck and looked toward the net.  Daugavins passed the puck off to defenseman Derek Smith positioned at the left point who immediately unleashed a slap shot at Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff.  Just as the puck was fired, Potulny streaked through the slot, managed to get his stick on the puck and subsequently tipped it past the Monarchs goaltender.

Zatkoff (1-0) picked up his first victory of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, stopping 34-of-35 shots on goal.  Brust (0-1) took his first loss of the post-season with 27 saves on 29 shots.

Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play.  Binghamton was 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

Notables:  This is the fourth time in franchise history that the Monarchs have won the first game of a playoff series…This is the first meeting between the Monarchs and Senators in the post-season in franchise history…Defenseman David Kolomatis scored his first professional post-season goal…Center Corey Elkins scored his fifth career goal in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
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