Brust, Daigle lift Monarchs in Game 1

Barry Brust made 39 saves and Alexandre Daigle provided the only offense midway through the second period as Manchester opened the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 1-0 win in Hartford on Tuesday night.

Brust, who went 19-14-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average and two shutouts in his first AHL season, drew the start and led the Monarchs to their first-ever Game 1 victory. Manchester had dropped the opener in each of its first four postseason series, and went on to lose each one.

Daigle’s goal on a rush 11:46 into the second period accounted for all of the scoring on the night. It was the first professional playoff goal for the former Wolf Pack forward Daigle, who was the first overall pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

Brust made 20 of his 39 saves in the third period as Hartford pressed for the tie. The Wolf Pack finished 0-for-7 on the power play, including two 5-on-3’s in the second period and a 6-on-4 with goalie Al Montoya (25 saves) pulled for an extra attacker late in regulation.

Game 2 is back at the Hartford Civic Center on Wednesday night.