MONARCHS WITHIN ONE WIN OF ADVANCING TO SECOND ROUND
/ Los Angeles Kings
WORCESTER, MA – Goaltender Jason LaBarbera stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Manchester Monarchs won Game 3 of the best-of-seven 2007 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinal Series A 5-0 against the Worcester Sharks in front of a crowd of 2,127 fans at the DCU Center on Wednesday night. The Monarchs lead the series 3-0.
After playing nearly 100 minutes of hockey less than 24 hours ago, center Matt Ryan jump started the Monarchs with his second goal of the series at 5:02 of the opening frame. Center Patrick O'Sullivan picked up the puck behind the Sharks net from left wing Petr Kanko. O'Sullivan slid the puck into the slot as Ryan skated between the hash marks. Ryan flipped the one-timer over Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss for a 1-0 lead.
Center Marty Murray doubled the Monarchs lead at 13:26 of the first period with his second tally of the playoffs. Right wing Tim Jackman fed the puck up ice to Murray who cared it into the left face-off circle and wristed a shot past Greiss on his left side.
The Monarchs first line went to work in the second period as left wing Noah Clarke scored his first goal of the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs. Murray took the first shot from the left doorstep. Greiss made the save and popped the rebound out to Jackman at the edge of the left face-off circle. Jackman passed the puck over to Clarke stationed on the right doorstep. Clarke snapped a wrist into the net to give Manchester a 3-0 lead at 4:02 of the middle period.
Worcester's attempt at ruining LaBarbera's shutout was denied at 4:28 of the final frame when referee Frederic L'Ecuyer waived off a goal by center Josh Prudden due to it being hit with a high stick.
Manchester responded with a power play goal at 6:19 of the third period from center Brian Boyle. Defenseman Peter Harrold fired a cross-ice feed from the left point to center Gabe Gauthier on the right face-off dot. Gauthier held the puck, weighed his options and shot it on net. Boyle tipped the puck between Greiss' right arm and pad for his first professional goal.
Following his first goal, Boyle engaged in a fisticuffs with Sharks defenseman Brennan Evans at 4:35 of the final period, the lone fight of the game.
O'Sullivan finished off the Sharks with his second goal of the series at 17:41 of the third stanza. On a give-and-go with Ryan, O'Sullivan received the puck back from his teammate and flicked it past Greiss for a 5-0 finish to the game. Left wing Jeff Giuliano started the play in the neutral zone when he dropped the puck back to Ryan for the rush.
LaBarbera earned the shutout with 26 saves. Greiss took the loss stopping 26-of-31 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-7 with the man advantage. Worcester was 0-for-5 on the power play.