WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Manchester forward Nick Deslauriers fired the game-winning goal past Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Jeff Deslauriers as the Monarchs outlasted the Penguins, 4-2, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
With the Monarchs ahead, 2-1, to begin the third period, the Penguins erased the deficit with 7:43 gone in the frame. Harry Zolnierczyk skated down the right wing with the puck and swung around the Manchester net before setting up defenseman Nick D’Agostino on the near circle for a one-timer. Goaltender Jean-Francois Berube kicked the shot away, but Nick Drazenovic was in perfect position to sweep in his sixth tally of the year.
Deslauriers gave Manchester the lead for good with 5:55 left in regulation as he accepted a pass off the left wall from Ian O’Connor and beat the Penguins goalie with a wrist shot from the high slot.
Tanner Pearson added an empty-net goal with 28.7 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.
The Penguins found themselves down 1-0 just 2:34 into the game when Nick Shore’s centering pass from behind the goal line banked off of Deslauriers and trickled into the net.
Manchester struck early in the second period as well, doubling its lead 52 seconds after the intermission. Brian O’Neill’s backhand shot from in between the hash marks pinballed off of traffic in front the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton crease and fluttered over the goal line.
Tom Kuhnhackl cut the Monarchs’ lead in half with 1:51 left in the second period, collecting a faceoff win by Zach Torquato and squeezing a snapshot past the left side of Berube and inside the post for his seventh goal of the season.
Deslauriers took the loss and went to 14-8-2 on the season, making 22 stops of 25 shots. Starting in net for the 23rd consecutive game, Berube earned his 14th win of the year with a 24-save effort.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins finish their three-game, three-day weekend on Sunday, Jan. 5 versus the Binghamton Senators at 4:05 p.m. Catch all the action on the Sports Hub 102 or AHL Live.
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