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Game 4 Recap: Close Enough to Taste It

Monarchs dominate in a blowout game, take a 3-1 series lead.

Pretty much owned the Comets last night
Pretty much owned the Comets last night
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It wasn't quite a perfect road game, but that's okay; in this case, it didn't have to be.

Patrik Bartosak held strong in the absence of Jean Francois Berube while his teammates actually scored goals for him. The boxscore will show that he gave up three, but the third one came with the game already out of reach. The first goal against came from far out with Bartosak completely screened and the second one came on the power play. The PPG was probably the only one that was truly if-y.

The Monarchs came out flying in the first period. They showed a determination to rebound from an awful game the other day and came close to scoring several times, but hit a couple posts and had trouble beating Jacob Markstrom. That is, until Sean Backman forced a turnover and scored.

(Stick tap to Steph, @myregularface, for making this gif)

Less than a minute later (42 seconds to be precise), Nic Dowd doubled Manchester's lead.

However, Utica came right back and responded with a huge goal. Frank Corrado halved the lead just 50 seconds after Dowd had scored.

The Comets tied the game just before the period ended on a later power play when Brian O'Neill went off for goaltender interference.

The period ended with Manchester having an 18-9 advantage in shot attempts at 5v5 and 23-14 overall per Thomas Drance.

The Monarchs flat out dominated the first half of the period, but Utica responded well in the second half. However, they were no match in the rest of the game.

Manchester scored three times in the second period and killed off an extended 5-on-3 for back-to-back delay of game penalties (David van der Gulik had gone to the bench following because he was hurt, but didn't go back to the faceoff circle and was penalized. Michael Mersch got a little too much elevation under his shot and it hopped over the glass resulting in an automatic DOG.)

Colin Miller's shot (which ended up as the GWG) beat a heavily screened Markstrom and a few minutes later, Brian O'Neill and Nick Shore teamed up to give the Monarchs some insurance on the power play.

During the extended PK, the team allowed nary a sniff at the net.

Nic Dowd was apparently going for Player of the Night because he stepped up big time. His snipe with 10 seconds remaining in the period was just a thing of beauty.

Things didn't get any easier in the third period for Utica.

Adrian Kempe scored six and a half minutes into the third, which ended up chasing Markstrom.

And as the game wound down, a couple Comets players got a little frustrated. Both Adam Clendening and Frank Corrado received 10-minute (but not game) misconducts, with Corrado receiving an extra two minutes for roughing.

The Monarchs will play for the Calder Cup tomorrow night as the Comets hope to extend their season a little longer.