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Monarchs shut out Admirals for 1-0 series lead.

Sean Backman and Zach O’Brien scored goals and goalie J.F. Berube earned a shutout as the Manchester Monarchs opened the Calder Cup playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Norfolk Admirals last night in Manchester.

Berube was stellar throughout, making 30 saves overall, including 12 during the first period when the Monarchs were outshot 12-6 but managed to escape with a 1-0 lead on Backman’s goal. Michael Mersch and Jordan Weal assisted on the goal, which came at 11:38 of the period.

O’Brien added an insurance tally with 1:20 left, assisted by Andy Andreoff and Brayden McNabb.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series is tonight at 7 in Manchester. Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) are Wednesday and Thursday in Norfolk.

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