Manchester continues to get early period goals this post-season, as Jordan Weal found the back of the net just 42 seconds into Game 4 and went on to record a hat trick in the Monarchs 5-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 4 of their second round series. Weal became just the third player in team history to record three goals in a single playoff game, and the first since Bud Holloway in 2011.
When the Monarchs score first this postseason, they are a perfect 6-0.
Meanwhile, Weal’s argument for a spot on the Kings roster next season is building momentum at a rather rapid pace. His 10 goals thus far makes him the first Monarchs player ever to reach that number in a single postseason and he is only two points shy of Patrick O’Sullivan (17 points) for the most points ever by a Monarchs player in a single postseason. Further, his 20 career points in the AHL playoffs puts him just one back of Justin Azevedo for second place in team history.
Playing on the top line with Weal much of this series, rookie Michael Mersch remains red hot, adding a shorthanded goal early in the second period on Monday. With his 12th point of the playoffs, the 2011 Kings draft pick still leads all first-year players and only trails Weal’s 15 points for the overall league lead.
Monarchs coach Mike Stothers made several changes for Game 4, including putting Kings 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe back in the line-up after sitting him out of Game 3 and moving rookie Justin Auger up to the second line. Full line combinations and defensive pairings were as follows:
Michael Mersch – Jordan Weal – Brian O’Neill
David Van der Gulik – Nick Shore – Justin Auger
Adrian Kempe – Nic Dowd – Sean Backman
Ryan Horvat – Andrew Crescenzi – Zach O’Brien
Andrew Bodnarchuk – Vincent LoVerde
Jeff Schultz – Colin Miller
Derek Forbort – Kevin Gravel
The win gave Manchester a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series, with Game 5 scheduled for tonight in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Game highlights via WMUR-TV:
Bonus content – Former LA Kings forward Tom Kostopoulos, now captain of the Penguins, talks about his time spent suiting up for the Manchester Monarchs:
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