Last night was Game 1 of the Eastern Hockey League Semi Finals. The JRFlyers are hosting the New Hampshire Monarchs in a best of three game series.
Just two minutes into the game Kneedler buried a shot by (G) Gaisor with great passing from Benitez and Taylor. In the 2nd period Manning had the puck in the offensive zone. Manning slid the puck back to Butryn at the point. He fired a back door pass to Nilsson wide open and put the shot to the back of the net for the 2-0 lead. The JRFlyers also killed off three penalties including a 5on3 chance for the Monarchs to keep it a 2-0 game heading to the locker rooms. Early in the 3rd the Monarchs were able to score against (G) Vail cutting the lead in half 2-1. Just after that goal the JRFlyers were called for interference and the Monarchs headed out to a power play looking to tie the game. The JRFlyers held off the initial rush and cleared the puck out of the zone. When the Monarchs were moving through neutral ice the play was broken up by Manning. The loose puck went into the Monarchs zone where Manning caught up to it and with the breakaway chance he scored shorthanded giving the JRFlyers a 3-1 lead. The two goal lead was short lived as the Monarchs answered right away to make it a one goal game 3-2. All three of those goals happened within the first six minutes of the 3rd period. The Monarchs had another power play chance late in the game but the penalty killing unit stood strong as it did all night to keep the Monarchs off the board and the JRFlyers won 3-2. JRFlyers goaltender Mac Vail picked up his fifth win of the postseason making 34 saves in the victory.
Game 2 is tonight in West Chester at Ice Line. If the JRFlyers win they will be heading to the Eastern Hockey League Finals. The Monarchs fight for their playoff lives and look to rebound and try to force Game 3 on Sunday. Puck drop tonight is scheduled for 6pm and if necessary Game 3 will be on Sunday at 1pm.
By: Joe Sindoni
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