Penguins Roll Past Monarchs in 1000th Game
McDonald’s two goals key win fourth straight win
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The 1000th regular season game in team history saw Colin McDonald pot two goals as part of a four-goal first period that allowed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to defeat the Manchester Monarchs, 4-1, on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The victory was the Penguins’ fourth win in a row and lifted them into a tie for second place in the East Division with the Norfolk Admirals.
It seemed as though this match would follow a similar script as recent home games for the Penguins as Patrick Mullen put Manchester ahead, 1-0, just 47 seconds into the first with a wrister from the point that banked into the left corner of the net. It was 11th time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s last 12 home gamesthat the opposition struck first.
The Penguins took only 56 seconds to answer back with Bryan Lerg splitting the Manchester defense and flipping the puck past the blocker of Jeff Zatkoff.
McDonald then pushed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead later in the period with a pair of markers. Paul Thompson led a 2-on-1 rush and dropped a pass that McDonald rifled off the post and into the net for a 2-1 edge at 6:43 of the first.
Four minutes later on the power play, McDonald snuck a lift shot over the shoulder of Zatkoff for a two-goal Penguins lead and his 10th marker of the season. Allowing three goals on just seven shots, Zatkoff would be replaced by back-up goalie Martin Jones.
Zach Sill potted the final goal of period, putting back a rebound chance past Jones with 41 seconds left until the first intermission.
Jones was otherwise perfect through the rest of the contest, making 22 saves including a denial of Ben Street’s penalty shot at 12:53 of the third period.
Brad Thiessen held off Manchester for the remaining 59:13 after Mullen’s goal as he finished the game with 29 stops. The Penguins’ netminder went to 15-10-2 on the season and has won four of his last five starts.
The Penguins’ contest tomorrow night against the Syracuse Crunch at 7:05 PM is sold-out. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is next at home on Wednesday, January 25 versus the Providence Bruins. For tickets and more information, call the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS or visit www.wbspenguins.com
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