MANCHESTER, NH – Right wing Martins Karsums scored the game-winner in overtime as the Providence Bruins beat the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 for a four game sweep of the 2008 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinals at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Monday night in front of 2,166 fans.
Wasting no time in the extra period, Karsums was able to punch the puck past netminder Jonathan Bernier at the 46-second mark. A turnover in the Monarchs zone yielded a shot for defenseman Sean Curry which was knocked down by Bernier. The rebound kicked to the right where Karsums put home the series-winner in the middle of a scrum. Left wing Pascal Pelletier took the second assist on the play for his second point of the night.
The Monarchs began the scoring with a beauty of a tally at 14:18 of the second period. Right wing John Zeiler lost his stick along the right wing boards but was able to punt the puck into Bruins zone. Center Oscar Moller picked up the loose puck at the center point and did a dip-see-do, spinning around, going through his legs and finally getting the disc to center David Meckler at the last possible second. Meckler was sitting on the doorstep and flipped the puck past a sprawling netminder Tuukka Rask for the early 1-0 advance.
Finishing off the second period was center Brady Murray with his first playoff goal. At 19:50, center Marc-Andre Cliche found himself behind the net to Rask's right and fed the puck to Murray who was streaking in the slot to slam home the second goal of the night for the Monarchs giving them a 2-0 lead. Center Matt Ryan earned the second helper on the lamp lighter.
The Bruins had a two-goal period of their own in the third frame. With a delayed penalty on the way at 5:41, the Bruins pulled Rask for the extra attacker. Curry fanned on a shot from the point but was able to get the disc to the left circle where defenseman Matt Hunwick was positioned. Hunwick quickly sent a cross-ice pass to Pelletier who ripped the puck past Bernier for his third tally of the playoffs.
Tying the score at two, right wing Jeff Hoggan, earned his third goal of the post-season. At 15:10 of the final frame, Hoggan picked up a defensive turnover and walked into the slot with the puck. The winger squeezed the puck between Bernier and the left post for the tying goal. Center Nate Thompson and left wing Chris Collins were credited with the assists on the equalizer.
Bernier burdened the overtime loss with 24 saves on 27 shots. Rask earned his fourth straight playoff victory stopping 22-of-24 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-2 on the power play. Providence was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.