But after Carolina's Mike Casselman scored two third-period, power-play goals, it took Steven King's own power-play score with nine seconds left to lift the Bandits to a 3-3 tie at the Greensboro Coliseum.
"It was a major effort, facing a lot of adversity," said Bandits coach Walt Kyle.
Neither Kyle nor Carolina coach Rich Kromm appeared pleased by the officiating, which saw a cluster of penalties called late in regulation and during the scoreless, 5-minute overtime.
"They're cracking down on us all year," Kromm said.
Seven minutes into the third period, the Monarchs had pulled into a 2-2 tie on a Casselman power-play goal from the right side off a feed from linemate Alexei Kudashov. The opportunity came after Carolina defenseman Sean McCann stole the puck while Baltimore was attempting to clear it.
Ten minutes later, Casselman again scored on another of the Monarchs' 11 power plays to give Carolina a 3-2 lead.
The Bandits, despite being outshot by a margin of nearly 3-1 through the first two periods, took a 2-1 lead into the final 20 minutes of play. Carolina, in fact, was unable to get on the scoreboard until Chris Armstrong rattled home a power-play shot that bounced off both Baltimore goal posts and fell into the net with 1:48 left in the second period.
Baltimore didn't get its first power play until midway through the second period, but the Bandits made it count, going up 1-0 on John Lilley's long slap shot from beyond the left face-off circle. It was only the sixth shot of the game for Baltimore.
Just over a minute later, on shot No. 7 for the Bandits, former Monarch Jeremy Stevenson made it 2-0 Baltimore when he scored a point-blank goal on a put-back of teammate King's blocked shot.
Neither team was able to score in a defensive first period that saw Carolina misfire on two power plays and Baltimore able to muster only three shots on goal.