Penguins Survive Monarchs Rally with SO Win
Williams scores twice, DeFazio notches three points
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Manchester Monarchs scored four third-period goals to force this game past regulation, but it was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins prevailing in the shootout, 7-6, on Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The win allowed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to pull ahead of idle Norfolk in to first place in the East Division.
Trailing by two after one period, the Penguins’ offense exploded for four goals over a 10:30 minute span in the second. Brandon DeFazio got Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the board five minutes in, accepting a cross-zone feed from Colin McDonald and roofing a shot from the left circle.
Four minutes later, as a Penguins power play was expiring, Brian Gibbons was able to poke a loose puck in the crease across the Monarchs’ goal line to even the score, 2-2. McDonald then found Jason Williams for a long breakaway pass that the veteran center lifted over Jeff Zatkoff at 12:04 for Wilkes-Barre’s first lead of the game. Cody Chupp pushed the Penguins’ lead to 4-2 with his first AHL goal of the season, coming 4:30 before the second break.
The first five minutes of the third saw three goals scored 43 seconds apart. Linden Vey pulled the Monarchs within one at 4:05, but 28 seconds later Williams converted an odd-man rush with Bryan Lerg to put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton back up, 5-3. Zach Sill completed the flurry at 4:48 with his 10th of the season, chasing Zatkoff from the net in favor of back-up Martin Jones. Zatkoff finished with 27 saves on 33 shots.
Richard Czarnik began the Monarchs’ rally at 10:58 of the third when he rang a hard shot off the back pipe of the Penguins’ net. Vey then shrunk Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to just one, deflecting David Kolomatis’ point shot down through the pads of Scott Munroe.
With 48 seconds left in regulation and Manchester’s net empty, Trent Hunter walked in from the right circle and guided a shot inside the far post that tied the game, 6-6.
After overtime failed to produce a goal, Vey got the Monarchs going with a goal in the first round of the shootout. Geoff Walker and Lerg would go on to beat Jones on consecutive chances and Munroe denied the Monarchs the rest of the way to pull out the win for the Penguins. Munroe (12-4-3) stopped 21 out of 27 shots through overtime and 4-of-5 in the shootout.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will “Salute the Troops” on Saturday, February 25 as they take on the Syracuse Crunch at 7:05PM. The game is sold out, but tickets are still available for Penguins’ match-up versus the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday, February 26 at 3:05PM. For more information, call the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS or visit www.wbspenguins.com
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