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Monarchs will face Sharks in second round

The Manchester Monarchs will begin the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs on April 25 on the road against the Worcester Sharks.

The Sharks knocked the Lowell Devils out of the postseason with a 5-1 win on Wednesday, meaning Worcester and Manchester will face off in a best-of-seven series in the Atlantic Division finals.

"I think Worcester has a lot of fire power," Manchester coach Mark Morris said. "They’ve got great depth. If you look at the San Jose organization, a lot of those guys have had the opportunity to play in the NHL, so they’re confident.

"We’re going to have to keep them in check. Our defensive game is going to have to be real solid. Alex Stalock is no slouch in the net. He’s an excellent goalie. They play a very similar style to ourselves, so it should be interesting."

The series opens with a 3:05 p.m. game on April 25 at the DCU Center in Worcester. Game 2 will be at 7:05 p.m. on April 28, also in Worcester.

The series will move to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on April 30, with a 7:30 p.m. start for Game 3. The teams will come back on May 1 for Game 4, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

If necessary, Game 5 will be at 7:05 p.m. on May 5 in Worcester, and Game 6 will be May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Manchester. A Game 7 would be at 7:05 p.m. on May 8 in Worcester.

The Monarchs went 3-4-1 against the Sharks this season, losing the final three head-to-head matchups. But the teams haven't met since Worcester won in Manchester on Feb. 14, and the Monarchs haven't beaten the Sharks since Dec. 11.

This will be the third time the teams have met in the Calder Cup playoffs, but the first time in the second round. Worcester won in six games in 2004 while Manchester won in six games in 2007 for the first series win in team history.

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