UTICA, NY – The Monarchs won the franchise’s first ever Calder Cup championship with a 2-1 win over the Comets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night. The win in Game 5 secured the club’s first Calder Cup in its first trip to the finals.
Patrik Bartosak stopped 31 of 32 shots to earn the victory in just the second playoff start of his career as a pro.
Adrian Kempe and Vincent LoVerde accounted for all of Manchester’s scoring, with both goals coming in the first 13:09 of the game.
Kempe put the Monarchs on the board first at 10:02 in the opening period. It was Kempe’s fourth goal in his last three games and eighth goal of the postseason overall.
With the Monarchs on the power play, LoVerde buried a one-time shot from the low slot on a feed from Nic Dowd to make it 2-0.
Utica outshot the Monarchs, 32-19, but was held scoreless in three power-play chances.
Michael Mersch (13 goals, 9 assists) and Jordan Weal (10 goals, 12 assists) tied for the league lead in playoff points. No Manchester player had ever led the Calder Cup Playoffs in points.
Brian O’Neill (10 goals, 10 assists) finished the playoffs third in the league in points.
Manchester improved to 15-0 when scoring first in the playoffs.
Nick Shore (assist) tallied at least one point for the third straight game. He finished the finals with a team-leading seven points (goal, 6 assists).
Adrian Kempe extended his streak to six straight road games with a goal.