The Kings face playoff elimination tonight, and so do their top minor-league team. The Manchester Monarchs lost to the Binghamton Senators 2-1 in overtime last night in Game 6 of their first-round series. Game 7 is tonight in Manchester. Last night, the Monarchs had taken a 1-0 lead 9:02 into the second period, when Justin Azevedo scored with assists from Bud Holloway and Viacheslav Voynov. Binghamton tied the game with 9:34 remaining in the third period on Bobby Butler’s goal. Holloway had a penalty shot in overtime but didn’t score and then roughly five minutes later, at the 10:01 mark, Geoff Kinrade scored for the Senators. Martin Jones stopped 43 of 45 shots in goal for the Monarchs while Robin Lehner stopped 51 of 52 shots for the Senators.
This morning, recent Kings draft picks Robert Czarnik and Jean-Francois Berube signed amateur-tryout agreements with the Monarchs, as did defenseman Shawn Germain. Czarnik, a 21-year-old forward and a third-round pick in 2008, had 77 points in 61 games this season for Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League. Berube, a 19-year-old goalie and a fourth-round pick in 2009, had a 32-7-8 record, a 2.60 goals-against average, a .902 save percentage and five shutouts for Montreal of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Berube played three games for the Monarchs last season. Germain, 28, had 14 points in 43 games for the Ontario Reign of the ECHL this season. All three players were healthy scratches for the Monarchs last night.
Finally, congratulations to Brett Hextall, son of Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall, who signed an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday. Hextall, a sixth-round draft pick in 2008, played three seasons as a forward at the University of North Dakota.