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Monarchs Host Bears for Game 4 Tonight

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Azevedo's Game Winner has the Monarchs back in the series.

Less than 24 hours after pulling out a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over Hershey, Manchester has a chance to even up the Eastern Conference Finals when it hosts the Bears for Game 4 tonight at the Verizon Wireless Arena... The Monarchs faced a 2-0 deficit in the third period of Game 3 but rallied to tie it up, and Justin Azevedo notched the game-winner 2:43 into overtime... Rookie Dwight King picked up the lone assist on Azevedo’s goal, which was his third of the playoffs but first since Game 4 of the division finals vs. Worcester on May 1... The Monarchs, who improved to 4-1 in overtime and 5-1 at home this postseason, had lost each of their first six conference finals games – all to Hershey – before last night’s victory

The loss also snapped multiple streaks for the Bears, who had won seven consecutive games overall and five straight overtime tilts to begin the playoffs... Hershey is now 10-2 in the postseason, its only other loss coming 29 days prior to last night’s defeat – a 4-1 decision at Bridgeport on Apr. 18... Alexandre Giroux began Monday’s scoring on the power play late in the first period, and his 47th career Calder Cup Playoff goal moved him past former Monarch Brad Smyth and into fifth place on the AHL’s all-time list... Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Bears, and Chris Bourque picked up an assist on both Hershey tallies... Bourque, who is now riding an eight-game scoring streak (6-11-17), moved atop the AHL’s playoff scoring list with 20 points (6-14-20) in 12 games, one more than Giroux’s 19 points (11-8-19)... For a 12th consecutive contest to begin the playoffs, AHL MVP Keith Aucoin (1-16-17) registered an assist; Aucoin had a 16-game assist streak during the 2009-10 regular season.

John Zeiler and Gabe Gauthier notched third-period goals just 1:38 apart to turn Manchester’s 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 deadlock... Gauthier recorded his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs (7-3-10), all of which have come in the last seven contests, while Zeiler broke a seven-game drought with his first goal since Game 1 at Worcester on Apr. 25... Rookie Thomas Hickey, drafted fourth overall by Los Angeles in 2007, made his Calder Cup Playoffs debut and earned an assist on Gauthier’s marker... Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 23 shots and moved to 9-4 (1.80, .941) this postseason; Bernier is 9-0 when allowing two or fewer goals and 0-4 when he lets in three or more... Michal Neuvirth, meanwhile, made 37 saves but suffered his first defeat of the 2010 postseason (8-1, 2.33, .906)... Manchester moved to 3-1 this postseason when trailing after two periods; Hershey is 4-1 in that situation... Five of the Monarchs’ seven goals in the series have been scored in the third period or overtime... Of the 17 OT games played during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, 10 have been decided within the first five minutes of extra play... Excluding shootouts, Hershey lost consecutive games only twice during the entire regular season (Oct. 11-16, Oct. 23-24).

2010 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Wed., May 12 – HERSHEY 4, Manchester 2
Game 2 – Sat., May 15 – HERSHEY 3, Manchester 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., May 17 – MANCHESTER 3, Hershey 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., May 18 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00
Game 5 – Thu., May 20 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 22 – Manchester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 23 – Manchester at Hershey, 5:00

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., May 14 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 16 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 19 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
*Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30

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