AHL: Notes and Highlights from Monarchs Game 3 Loss to Penguins

How important is the first goal of the game? Well, for the Monarchs, they’re now 0-3 in the playoffs when the opposition gets on the board first. What about home ice advantage? Ditto, as Manchester has now lost all three games played away from their home barn.

Saturday night at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Bryan Rust notched the first tally of the game, giving his team their first lead of the series, and teammate Tom Kostopoulos sealed the Penguins victory with a goal during the middle frame.
Late in the third period, it looked like the Monarchs might have a rally in them, as David Van der Gulik scored the Monarchs’ lone goal with just under seven minutes left in regulation. However, affording the Penguins six power play opportunities and going 0-for-3 on the power play themselves, proved to be too much for the LA Kings prospects to overcome.

Perhaps even more concerning than the loss has been Manchester’s inefficiency with the man advantage. Saturday’s numbers pushed their conversion rate to just 5-for-34 in the Calder Cup playoffs (14.7%), after posting an AHL-best 20.7% during in the regular season.

Following a 2-1 defeat in Game 3, the Monarchs still lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals 2-1, with a pair of games remaining in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – beginning with Monday’s Game 4 – before returning to Manchester for potential Game 6 and Game 7 contests, should they be needed.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.