Photo Credit:  Chris Rutsch.
Photo Credit: Chris Rutsch.

The Wolf Pack came close tonight.  They lost to the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2 in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals.  They played decent as they had their ups and downs.  The Monarchs just capitalized on the Packs mistakes.  Yann Danis stopped 22 out of 25 shots in net.  Oscar Lindberg and Mat Bodie notched goals.  Game two is Saturday in Manchester.

Game Recap

The start was not good at all.  The Monarchs went to work right away.  The third time was the charm unfortunately.  They crashed the net and it paid off only 35 seconds in.  The Pack struggled in the early stages.  Then as time passed, they got their feet and picked it up.  They shook it off.  The Pack generated a couple of chances.  At the 11:33 mark, the Pack crashed the crease as well and it paid off as Oscar Lindberg backhanded it in to tie it at one.  Chris Bourque recorded the primary assist as he threw it on net and Joey Crabb recorded the secondary.  The rest of the frame was scoreless.  Yann Danis was coming in clutch at moments when the Monarchs pressured well.  The second was interesting.  The Pack had a pretty good frame.  They controlled play for the most part, but the Monarchs notched two goals on mistakes that was proven to be tough to recover.  The first half was good.  The Pack had offensive zone time and generated close chances.  Yann Danis made simpler saves as well when the Monarchs came into the zone.  Then at the 11:07 mark, a tough luck goal was given up by Yann Danis.  It was a net mouth scramble and the defense could not help.  The Monarchs took a 2-1 lead.  Yann Danis made a couple of saves before it went in as he had no stick as well.  Everyone out there for the Pack tried.  They had more chances in the offensive zone afterwards.  Then at the 16:02 mark, a costly error bit the Pack.  The Monarchs had a three on one and Yann Danis had no help.  They had much space coming in the zone, and it got past him through a high, quick wrist shot to make it 3-1 Monarchs.  A huge third was needed.  The Pack tried to chip away at the lead.  Yann Danis held the game close when the defense broke down.  Then just as time expired on the penalty, the Pack notched a timely goal from Mat Bodie at the 6:43 mark.  He had a nice slap shot from the face off area to cut the deficit to 3-2 Monarchs.  Chris Bourque and Marek Hrivik contributed with assists.  The Pack were coming close once again, but were unable to convert.  The Monarchs gotten close, but could not do further damage.  As time was ticking, the Pack simply could not capitalize on another opportunity.  They had good offensive zone time.  In the dying minute, they tried to go all out.  Nothing could simply be produced.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the game as a whole, they played decent.  It could have been better, but it could have been worse as well.  The Pack need to make sure there is no more defensive errors and protect the crease.  Those two factors were key in the game tonight on why the Monarchs won.  The Pack in the second gave the Monarchs a run for their money.  They just could not convert.  This game had the positives and negatives.  Just focus on the next game.

Game two will be in Manchester on Saturday.  Game time is 7pm.  Get it back boys.

Ricky’s 3 Stars

  1. Chris Bourque
  2. Yann Danis
  3. Oscar Lindberg

Game Notes

  • This loss snaps a streak of three wins in the playoffs.
  • The Monarchs are now 6-0 on their home ice.
  • The fourth line continues to generate solid chances.  The line is a combination of Tyler Brown, Chad Nehring, and Ryan Potulny.
  • The Pack went two for two on the penalty kill.
  • They also went zero for two on the power play.