The Monarchs are putting on a legit performance to be proud of in the AHL Conference Finals. After dropping the first two games in Hershey to the powerhouse Bears, the Monarchs have returned home and put on an inspiring show. While it would have been incredibly easy to fold up the tent, admit defeat and bow out of the playoffs, the Monarchs have done no such thing.
After an impressive 3-2 overtime win in Game 3, it looked like we might be in for a bit more of a battle. It was an important win to be sure, as the difference between a 2-1 series deficit and a 3-0 deficit is absurdly huge. But perhaps even more important was the performance in Game 4. Dwight King put the Monarchs ahead right about midway through the game, and Jonathan Bernier shut the door. Facing 18 shots, he managed to stop all of them, recording his third shutout of the playoffs. Not as impressive a Conference Final performance as the Flyers (seriously, where did the Canadians go?) but not too shabby.
So what’s next? Well the Monarchs play one more game at home in Game 5, where they are going to look to take the first lead of the series. It’s an important game to win, since it will be difficult to win when the series shifts back to Hershey to finish up. If they are able to grab the momentum and take a 3-2 series lead to Hershey, they should be able to grab a win, but doing it twice in a row is a tough thing to ask. It’s not out of the question, but it seems clear that Thursday night’s Game 5 will be a major determining factor in the series. I’ll say right now that I think the winner of Game 5 will win the series. We’ll just have to wait and see?
Have you had a chance to watch any of the Monarchs games? Checking out highlights online? Any thoughts on how the team is playing?